July 5, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. The Delhi Government launched an initiative “Connect Delhi” to increase the reach of transportation facilities and provide last-mile connectivity to citizens.
    • The Transport Department has also formed a High-Level Steering Committee headed by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, to ensure timely decision-making and speedy implementation of projects and schemes under the initiative.
  1. The Supreme Court said the Delhi Lieutenant Governor cannot act independently and must take the aid and advise of the Council of Ministers.
    • In case of difference of opinion, the L-G should straightaway refer the dispute to the President for a final decision without sitting over it or stultifying the governance in the National Capital.
  1. According to Tecxipio, a Germany-based data analytics firm, Tanzania and Ireland are the fastest growing piracy markets for Hindi films.
    • Its analysis of worldwide file-sharing data for the top 100 Hindi films has revealed that in the four years spanning 2013 to 2017, the number of Hindi film downloads grew by 250% in Tanzania, while Ireland led the European markets with a 100% growth.
    • India continued to be the largest market even for pirated downloads, recording a 30% growth over the last four years, thanks to rising Internet penetration.
  1. More than 30,000 people belonging to the Bru community will be given voting rights.
    • Bru Community is of those people who fled from Mizoram to Tripura in 1997 in the wake of Inter-Community
    • As many as 32,876 people of the Reang Tribe (known in Mizoram as Brus) are set to be repatriated to Mizoram after a tripartite agreement was signed between the Centre, Tripura and Mizoram.
    • Reang are one of the 21 Scheduled Tribes of the Indian state of Tripura.
  1. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has scheduled a ‘Pad Abort Test’ of an experimental space crew capsule as an important cog of its plan to send Indians to space one day.
    • The launch Pad Abort Test, or PAT, involves aborting a space capsule at launch to save the inmates.
    • ISRO describes PAT as the first milestone in qualifying its crew escape system in an emergency.
  1. The Election Commission launched voter identity cards with Braille label to ensure greater participation of persons with visual impairment in the electoral process.
    • A new Accessible Division in the India International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Management will also be set up.
  1. DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018
    • The Union Cabinet has cleared a bill that allows law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples, create “DNA profiles” and special databanks for forensic-criminal investigations.
    • The aim of that draft legislation was to set in place an institutional mechanism to collect and deploy DNA technologies to identify persons based on samples collected from crime scenes or for identifying missing persons.
    • In 2017, the Law Commission of India, in its 271st report, had prepared the draft Bill called The DNA Based Technology (Use and Regulation) Bill, 2017, stressing on its usage for disaster victim identification, criminal investigation and identification of missing persons.
  1. Oil prices, pace of banks’ balance sheet clean-up and investment remain the key credit risks in India, according to an investor survey by Moody’s Investors Service.
  1. The Union Cabinet approved to rename the Agartala Airport in Tripura as ‘Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore Airport, Tripura.
  1. The think tank NITI Aayog announced that it is organisingMOVE: Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi on 7th and 8th September, 2018 in association with various ministries and industry partners.
  1. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari flagged off Wagon Cab’s taxi ambulance services in New Delhi.
    • Wagon Cab claims to be India’s first road emergency cab services
    • Wagon Cab provides medically-trained drivers in its ambulance-taxis.
  1. The Rajasthan government approved 1 per cent reservation for five communities, including the Gujjar community, against their demand of 5 %.
    • This is under the Most Backward Classes (MBC) category.
    • The five communities who benefit from the order of the Rajasthan government are – Godia Lohar, Banjara, Gujjar, Raika and Gadaria.
  1. Jitendra Singh attended the 4-day Meghalaya Annual Cultural Festival, “Behdienkhlam“, held every year at the small peripheral town of Jowai, Meghalaya.

 

  1. The Madhya Pradesh government announced Mukhyamantri Jan Kalyan (Sambal) Yojana 2018 (a scheme to provide subsidized power).
  • Power connection under the Mukhyamantri Jan Kalyan (Sambal) Yojana would be provided free of cost to the beneficiaries.

 

  1. India’s gold imports fell more than 25% to 54 metric tonnes in June from a year ago, says Bloomberg.
    • Overseas purchases of the yellow metal plunged 40% to 343 tonnes in the first half from a year earlier.
  1. The government is preparing a policy framework to regulate foreign investments more closely in internet and smartphone businesses, especially in view of the increasing Chinese presence in these sectors.
    • The aim is not to stop or restrict foreign investments but to install safeguards that will ensure India’s security is not compromised.
    • Over the past 18 months, after Japan’s SoftBank Group, Chinese companies led by Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings and Xiaomi Inc. have become the most influential investors in the start-up eco system.
    • Xiaomi is also currently the highest-selling smartphone brand in India.

 

  1. The Nikkei India Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for June 2018 came in at 53.3, its highest level since October 2016.
    • The Composite PMI is a snapshot of private sector activity in the economy, a seasonally adjusted index that includes both manufacturing and services.
    • A reading above 50 indicates expansion from the preceding month, while one below 50 denotes contraction.

 

  1. The Union cabinet allowed the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry to raise ₹1 trillion from the market for funding education research and infrastructure.
    • The funds will be raised from a clutch of sources, including education bonds, commercial borrowings and corporate houses.
    • The money shall be given as loans to government-controlled Higher Educational Institutions, including medical colleges, as well as Central Government run school chains such as Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVs).
    • The funds will be raised through the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), a recently minted Non-Banking Financial Company under the HRD ministry.

 

  1. The government extended its Capital Infusion Scheme for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to 2019-20 with the aim of strengthening their lending capacity.
    • The scheme, which was started in FY11 was extended twice earlier, with the second one being up to March 2017.
    • RRBs, which are jointly owned by the Union and state governments and sponsor banks, were set up to provide credit mainly to small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers, artisans and small entrepreneurs in rural areas.

 

  1. The economic centre of the country is shifting to the South, according to newly released Census 2011 Data Tracking The Movement of Languages.
    • Since liberalization, there has been a steep drop in the movement of Tamils and Malayalis toward the hubs of Mumbai or Delhi.
    • But the flow of people to the South from Northern and Eastern India has been on the rise according to the linguistic trail left by migrants.
    • The number of people who claimed Sanskrit as their mother tongue in 1991 rose steeply with speakers in Uttar Pradesh alone rising from a few hundred to over 40,000.
    • The proportion of Urdu speakers in the population has fallen with every census since then, including the most recent in 2011.
    • India’s rank in the Language Diversity Index has fallen from 9 in 2009 to 14 in 2017.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. China’s internet giant Baidu announced that it had begun mass producing the country’s first Autonomous Mini-Bus.

 

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Yes Bank has received the final regulatory approval from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to commence its mutual fund business – Yes Asset Management (India) Limited (YAMIL).

 

  1. The RBI has issued licence to Bank of China to launch operations in India.
    • This is the second Chinese lender to secure a licence to open a branch in India.
    • In 2011, RBI gave approval to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China(ICBC) to open a branch in India. It currently has a branch in Mumbai.
  1. RBI in its recent Bimonthly Monetary Policy Report, has identified six key factors that are likely to affect domestic inflation going forward-
    1. Crude prices
    2. Global financial developments
    3. Household inflationary expectations
    4. House rent allowance (HRA) revisions
    5. Revisions in the minimum support price (MSP)
    6. Good monsoons
  • However, as per recent Bank for International Settlements paper-
  • There is a positive correlation between the share of dependent population and inflation, while working-age population share is negatively correlated with inflation.
  • An increase in the proportion of dependants—by increasing consumption rates and lowering the savings rate—can be expected to increase inflation.
  • While the reverse is expected to happen when the working-age population increases.

 

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Wipro, India’s third-largest software services exporter, has promoted its head of digital business Rajan Kohli as a President.
  2. The Payments Council of India announced that it has appointed Vishwas Patel as its new Chairman.

 

 

SPORTS

  1. Ajai Raj Singh won the boys javelin gold in Youth Olympic Games’ Asian area Qualification Athletics meet to be held in Buenos Aires in October.