July 4, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will approve the support price for kharif crops and is likely to raise the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy by 200 to 1,750 a quintal.
    • It will be done to honour the budget announcement to ensure farmers get at least 1.5 times the production cost.
  1. The government will change the base year for calculation of GDP and retail inflation to 2017-18 and 2018 respectively.
    • Which is likely to come into effect by 2019-20.
    • The last base year for GDP, Index of Industrial Production and Consumer Price Index was revised to 2011-12 and 2012 (for inflation).
  1. An upgraded version of the Unified Payments Interface, UPI 2.0, is expected to be launched.
    • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which manages the UPI platform, presented a demonstration of UPI 2.0.
    • NPCI is the umbrella organization for all retail payments in the country.
    • UPI is a payments system that facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on a mobile platform, without requiring any detail of the beneficiary’s bank account.
    • UPI 2.0 will have additional features such as generating collect payment requests along with invoice/ bill attachment, one-time mandate with block functionality, signed intent/quick response code, adding of overdraft account type in UPI and foreign inward remittance.
  1. The centre is considering a proposal to introduce pulses under the subsidized Public Distribution System (PDS) in 200 districts faring the worst on nutrition parameters.
    • The idea behind the scheme is driven by the fact that central agencies are stocked with 5 million tonnes of pulses following a record production last year.
    • The plan is to provide about 70 million households in selected districts with 2kg of pulses every month at prices which are at least 50% cheaper than the market.
    • Government data on nutritional indicators show that in India 4% of all children under five are stunted, or have lower height for their age.
    • According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, pulses are nutritional powerhouses loaded with protein and dietary fibre which can help address malnutrition problems in developing countries.
  1. The government will release the Quarterly Employment Survey Data, based on the new Periodic Labour Force Surveys (PLFS) conducted by the Statistics Department, in December.
    • PLFS will measure quarterly changes in urban employment and annual changes in employment in both rural and urban areas.
    • It was launched in April 2017.
    • The nodal agency, the National Sample Survey Office, is for the first time using the computer-assisted personal interviewing method to capture data on tablets.
  1. Niti Aayog will prepare a blueprint for the transportation sector jointly with state governments to help achieve goals of electric mobility, wider renewable energy use and job creation.
  1. The authenticity of Thanjavur paintings can be checked through Raman Spectroscopy.
    • Thanjavur paintings have Geographical Indication tags.
    • Thanjavur painting is a classical South Indian painting style spread across Tamil Nadu.
    • Raman spectroscopy is one of the vibrational spectroscopic techniques used to provide information on molecular vibrations and crystal structures.
  1. The Rajasthan government will provide milk thrice a week to 62 lakh children studying in government schools and madrasas under its Annapurna Milk Scheme.
    • Students till Class 5 will get 150 ml of hot milk thrice a week while those in Class 6 to 8 will get 200 ml milk.
  1. The Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Indira Banerjee, has been selected by the Supreme Court for the second time to head an In-House Inquiry Committee to probe allegations of impropriety against sitting High Court judges in other States.
    • High Court Judges- Justices Indrajit Mahanty and Sangam Kumar Sahoo of the Odisha High Court since 2016.
  1. The Election Commission launched an Android-based mobile application named “cVigil” for citizens to share proof of malpractices by political parties, their candidates and activists when the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
    • The mobile application also facilitates sharing of geo-tagged photographic and video evidence without disclosing the identity of the sender.
  1. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched the “Happiness Curriculum” for students of nursery to Class 8 in government schools .
    • The curriculum was launched in the presence of the Dalai Lama.
    • According to the curriculum, Students across schools can expect a ‘happiness’ period of 45 minutes.
    • Each class will begin with a five-minute meditation.
  1. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das announced that Jharkhand will have the first ‘Khadi Mall’ of the country.
    • It will be developed by Khadi Board.
  1. The Chhattisgarh government set up a tribal museum in the state’s upcoming new capital Naya Raipur.
  1. The Centre has announced a State-of-The-Art E-Waste Recycling Unit for Bengaluru, India’s technology capital.
    • It will be India’s first such unit in the government sector.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. The Supreme Court refused to stay a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular prohibiting banks and financial institutions from dealing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
    • With no interim stay on the circular, all virtual currency transactions through banks would be blocked from 6 July, effectively resulting in a ban.
  1. The Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), the country’s largest commodity bourse in terms of market share, plans to enter the currency derivatives segment.

 

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Mohit Gupta has been named as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Food-tech start-up Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd.

 

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. On 4th July 2018, the 242nd America Independence Day was celebrated in the United States.
    • Independence Day in America marks the date back in 1776 when Americans broke away from being ruled by the British, who had been on the continent since the 16th Century.

 

AWARDS

  1. Professor Ravinder Dahiya, an Indian-origin scientist working on a project to create a robotic hand covered in so-called Brainy Skin that mimics the human sense of touch has won 1.5 million pound as funding for the project.
    • Brainy skin is critical for the autonomy of robots and for a safe human-robot interaction to meet emerging societal needs such as helping the elderly.

 

 

SPORTS

  1. SoundLogic has roped in India’s most successful captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as a Partner-Evangelist.
    • Evangelism marketing is an advanced form of word-of-mouth marketing in which companies develop customers who believe so strongly in a particular product or service that they freely try to convince others to buy and use it.
  1. Australia won the Champions Trophy hockey 2018 in Breda, the Netherlands.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first time approved the use of Epidiolex, an oral solution made from marijuana, for the treatment of seizures related to 2 rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
  2. Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral JG Nadkarni died.