July 30, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Personal Data Protection Bill 2018
    • The report focuses on 3 aspects: citizens, the state and the industry.
    • The draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 was submitted by the Justice B.N. Srikrishna-headed expert panel.
    • The draft bill submitted by the committee notes that “the right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is necessary to protect personal data as an essential facet of informational privacy.
    • The bill notes that that ‘data principal’ which means the individual or the person providing their data, has a right to “right to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure.” But the bill does not allow for a right of total erasure like the European Union does.
    • Only that data which is necessary for processing is to be collected from anyone.
    • Personal data may be processed by the government if this is considered necessary for any function of Parliament or State Legislature. This includes provision of services, issuing of licenses, etc.
    • Personal data will need to be stored on servers located within India, and transfers outside the country will need to be subject to safeguards. Critical personal data, however, will only be processed in India.

 

  1. In an attempt to resolve the issue of stressed power projects, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has set up an empowered committee headed by cabinet secretary K. Sinha, who was earlier India’s power secretary.
    • This comes in the backdrop of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in power generation accounting for around 9% of the banking sector’s total outstanding advances of ₹ 4.73 trillion, according to the second volume of the Economic Survey 2016-17.
    • The government’s plan to warehouse stressed power projects totalling 25,000MW under an Asset Management Firm to protect the value of the assets and prevent their distress sale under the insolvency and bankruptcy code till demand for power picks up.
    • State-run Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd has identified projects with a total debt of around ₹ 1.8 trillion as part of the scheme, named Power Asset Revival through Warehousing and Rehabilitation, or ‘Pariwartan’.

 

  1. A FASTag is a reloadable tag that automatically deducts toll charges and allows a vehicle to pass through a toll gate without stopping for the payment.
    • It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to make cashless payments through a prepaid account linked to it.
    • The tag is fixed to the windscreen of a vehicle and an RFID antenna in the canopy of the toll gate scans the QR code and the tag identification number, following which the boom barrier lifts to allow a vehicle to pass through.
    • The tag is valid for five years, comes in seven different coloursviolet, orange, yellow, green, pink, blue, black.
    • Each colour is assigned to a particular category of vehicles.
    • It is mandatory for cars and trucks sold after December 1, 2017 to be fitted with a FASTag.
    • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has tied up with 20 banks to allow people to recharge their cards as well as for owners of old vehicles to purchase a FASTag.
    • On an average a buyer pays ₹600 for the device out of which ₹200 can be used for transactions at toll booth while the balance goes towards the cost of the device and the bank’s fee.
    • Users are refunded 5% of the total toll paid by them in a given month.
    • However, the RFID antennae deployed have a range of six metres, which means a vehicle needs to slow down for it to scan the tag.

 

  1. The Centre has decided to set up a Domestic Council for Gold to aid exports of jewellery and to create an ecosystem to harness the true potential for jewellery-making in the country.
    • The council would work towards industry development, job creation, building of regional clusters and strengthening of value chains

 

  1. India is in talks with the U.S. to procure an advanced air defence system – National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), estimated at $1 billion, to defend the National Capital Region (NCR) from aerial attacks.
    • This system will help in preventing 9/11-type attacks [when terrorists flew hijacked planes into New York’s World Trade Center] on Delhi.
    • Apart from these imports, India is also developing an indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system.
    • The NASAMS was developed by Raytheon in partnership with KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace of Norway.
    • NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS and features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.
    • It is highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defence requirement.

 

 

  1. Having worked on the DigiYatra project for over a year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is close to rolling out this service at airports in a few months.
    • Under this the moment you enter the airport, your images will be captured and then you will be able to go through the full lifecycle of your travel in a seamless manner.
    • The basic objective is to reduce queues at airports and bring efficiency to the boarding process.
    • DigiYatra is an industry-led initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in line with the Digital India programme.
    • In addition, the ministry is also in the process of coming up with an approach to have a no-fly list based on safety.

 

  1. The Kerala Police will soon have an all-woman battalion.

 

  1. The district administration is making preparations to open the Idukki dam following an unprecedented rise in the water level.
    • The Idukki Dam is a double curvature arch dam constructed across the Periyar River in Kerala.

 

  1. The Union Earth Sciences Ministry — tasked with coordinating the exercise — unveiled a blueprint of the ‘Deep Ocean Mission (DOM)’ to spur research activities in ocean science and develop technology to harness ocean resources.
    • Offshore desalination plant that will work with tidal energy, and developing a submersible vehicle that can go to a depth of at least 6,000 metres with three people on board.
    • The mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration started by ISRO about 35 years ago.
    • India has been allotted a site of 75,000 square kilometres in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by the UN International Sea Bed Authority for exploitation of Polymetallic Nodules (PMN).

 

  1. The Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, laid the foundation stone of National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) for Women at Mohali, Punjab.
    • This is the first NSTI Institute for Punjab and is exclusively for women.
    • The Minister also launched a unique Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) which would admit differently abled persons as well, also a first of its kind in India at Mohali.
    • The Institute is presently operating out of temporary campus at Rajpura.
    • India’s first in-phone guide and mobile application “Go whats That” was also launched.

 

  1. The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) launched a mobile application named Mumbai Weather Live that will provide information on extreme weather events in 
    • It also launched forecasts for Char Dham and Amarnath pilgrims that can be accessed by registered users of through website of IMD or

 

  1. Odisha government approved a proposal for setting up a riverine port on river Mahanadi in Kendrapara district, Odisha.

 

  1. India’s Ashok Leyland will deliver 81 high mobility 10x10 vehicles for the Indian Army’s Russian-built Smerch Multi-Barrel Rocket launchers (MBRL) as well to carry strategic missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).


 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. ICICI Bank is reviewing all loans disbursed over the past five years to prepare reports to address regulatory inquiries as well as plug loopholes and overhaul processes.
    • The newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of ICICI Bank, Sandeep Bakhshi, is trying to review and overhaul the credit disbursal processes.

 

  1. Five reasons why the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) needs to raise its policy rate at its meeting as per Mint.
    • First – Core inflation—which excludes food and fuel—is edging up every month. It is now far above 5%, and considering the stickiness of it, a threat to RBI’s 4% target.
      1. As the Indian economy recovers and demand firms up, producers will be able to pass on increases in costs.
    • Second – The hike in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for agriculture this time is steep. The language of RBI leaves no doubt that higher MSPs are a danger to inflation.
    • ThirdGlobal crude oil prices are a big swing factor in the behaviour of domestic inflation.
    • Fourth – the output gap—the gap between the level of economic activity and its potential—is closing.
    • Fifth – The Lok Sabha elections in 2019 make it hard for any government to ignore populist measures.

 

  1. Chatbots – is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.
    • HDFC Bank Ltd, for instance, has an AI chatbot called Eva built.
    • AI banking platform Payjo launched an AI-powered chat assistant for State Bank of India (SBI) called SBI Intelligent Assistant (SIA).
    • Axis Bank Ltd has its Axis Aha chatbot.
    • ICICI Bank – iPal
    • AI-enabled enterprise chatbots may also find it difficult to scale up especially when compared to Apple Inc.’s Siri, Amazon Inc.’s Alexa, Google Inc.’s Allo and Duo, or Samung Electronic Co.’s Bixby due to relatively limited learning data sets.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. Global Tiger Day, often called International Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held annually on 29 July.
    • India Post joined hands in promoting tiger conservation by releasing a special cover.
    • Bandipur (Karnataka), Nagarahole (Karnataka), Wayanad (Kerala), Mudumalai (Tamil Nadu), Satyamangalam (Tamil Nadu) , and BRT forests account for nearly 585 tigers across 10,925 sq km.

 

  1. The United Nations (UN) World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed every year on July 30 to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promote and protect their rights.
    • Theme – ‘responding to the trafficking of children and young people’

 

AWARDS

  1. Mortgage financier HDFC has received the award for being the ‘best performing primary lending institution’ under the credit-linked subsidy scheme for the EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) and LIG (Low Income Group) category under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

 

  1. Mohun Bagan ‘Ratna’, the highest honour of Mohun Bagan club was awarded to former India international Pradip Chowdhuryat its foundation day programme.
    • Pradip Chowdhury is a former Mohun Bagan captain.

 

SPORTS

  1. Kapil Dev the cricketer will now also be known as Kapil Dev the golfer.
    • He will represent India at the Asia Pacific Senior 2018 to be held at the Tom Watson Golf Club in Miyazaki, Japan.
  1. Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra won a gold in the Savo Games in Finland.

 

  1. Kathleen Baker set a world record of 00secto win the 100m backstroke at the US swimming championships.