June 8, 2018

WORD OF THE DAY

VULTURE FUND

A fund that seeks highly discounted, distressed investments with the potential to yield high rates of return.

Courtesy: Mint

 

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Punjab has launched a “Business First Portal”.
    • The online portal will facilitate the industrialists for Regulatory Clearances and Fiscal Approvals, real-time tracking of applications at the common platform.
    • Regulatory clearances of all other departments will be integrated in the portal. 
  1. The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to do away with semester system in undergraduate (UG) courses and revert to annual examination system.
    • HP Govt. had set up a review committee headed by former vice-chancellor to review RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) and it has recommended reverting to annual examination system.
    • The RUSA was introduced in the state in 2013.
  1. Minister of State for Defence, Dr, Subhash Bhamre has dedicated a highway tunnel at Theng near Chungthang in north Sikkim to the nation.
    • The tunnel will benefit the tourism and rapidly propel the growth of the state.
    • It is 578 m long and is Sikkim’s longest tunnel, Theng Tunnel.
  1. The West Bengal Government has decided to invest 107 crore rupees to check erosion at vulnerable areas along the banks of the Ganga and the Padma.
    • A stretch of 15 kilometers will be concretized, to prevent erosion.
    • It will protect hundreds of homes and the river bank close to outposts of the Border Security Force on the Indo-Bangladesh border from being washed away by the strong currents.
  1. President Ram Nath Kovind has distributed LPG connections to 20 beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana at Raj Bhavan in Agartala, Tripura.
    • He also laid the foundation stone for the re-development of Matabari Temple Complex at Tripura Sundari temple.
  1. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu stated that the state was now Open Defecation Free (ODF) as it had achieved its goal of constructing 77 lakh individual toilets.
  1. A Concession and Development agreement (CADA) has been signed in Vijayawada between the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) and Singapore-Amaravati Investments Holdings (SAIH) for joint development of 684 hectares startup area in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh.
  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed an MoU with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Norway to extend the cooperation within health sector through the Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI)for a period of 3 years starting from 2018 to 2020
    • The area of focus include maternal, new-born, child health, and shall build on experiences from NIPI phase I and II.
    • The focus states are Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and also as a RMNCHA+ partner in Jammu & Kashmir.
    • RMNCH+A approach has been launched in 2013 and it essentially looks to address the major causes of mortality among women and children as well as the delays in accessing and utilizing health care and services
  1. To commemorate the 125th Anniversary of Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, would visit Phoenix Settlement.
    • The two-day celebration would be marked by the release of joint commemorative stamps of Oliver Tambo and Pt Deen Dayal Upadhaya.
    • A Youth Summit would be organized where 20 diaspora and Indian nationals would participate to speak on Gandhiji’s message on peace.
  1. The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has approved revised cost estimate of Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP) for 3466 Crore and has extended time duration for ending this project till June 2020.
    • DRIP is funded by World Bank.
  1. Tripura’s queen variety pineapple has been declared as state fruit.
    • Tripura is one of the largest pineapple growing states in country.
    • There are more than 100 commercial scale pineapple plantations spread throughout the state.
  1. Andhra Pradesh is set to become the first state in India to use auto-disable syringes for all clinical purposes to prevent infection
    • Auto Disable Syringe is medical syringe that cannot be reused.
    • They incorporate mechanism to break or lock syringe plunger when the injection is given to make syringe inoperable for being used for second time.
  1. Bayer AG acquired Monsanto Co for $63 billion, emerging from an arduous two-year antitrust review as the biggest seed and agricultural chemicals maker in the world.
  1. Tech giant Google has rolled out free public WiFi at 400 Indian railway stations in collaboration with RailTel.
    • Launched as a key initiative under Digital India programme, the service was kicked off from Mumbai Central station in January 2016, and Dibrugarh in Assam has become the 400th station to go live
  1. Qatar Airways has been ranked the best airline among 72 international airlines in 2018, according to a survey by AirHelp, a company that advocates on behalf of air travellers for compensation in cases of delays or cancelations.
    • Debt-ridden Air India was ranked 58, slightly better than Jet Airways (63).
    • The overall rankings are based on: on-time performance, quality of service and claims-processing.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. RBI has made changes in the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) to make it more attractive.
    • The scheme was first launched by the government in 2015 to mobilise the idle gold of the household or institutions to the banks as deposits for a fixed period of time.
    • The interest rate varied from 25% to 2.5%.
    • The revamping of the scheme is aimed at enabling people to open a hassle-free gold deposit account.
    • The short-term deposits should be treated as bank’s on-balance sheet liability
    • These deposits will be made with the designated banks for a short period of 1-3 years (with a facility of rollover)
    • Deposits can also be allowed for broken periods (e.g. 1 year 3 months; 2 years 4 months 5 days; etc.
  1. Reserve Bank has stated that interest subsidy scheme on short-term crop loans of up to three lakh rupees will be implemented through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode from the current financial year.
    • Direct Benefit Transfer was started on 1st January 2013.
  1. Foreign Direct Investment in India has risen up to $61.96 billion in 2017-18.
    • The FDI inflows were $60 billion in 2016.
    • FDI has increased by $222.75 billion from $152 billion in 4 years.
  1. Credit rating Agency Moody’s predicted India’s fiscal deficit to be 3% of GDP for FY 2018-19.
    • The planned expenditure of the govt. has been suggested to be cut back.
    • Government is likely to reduce excise duty on petroleum and diesel products if the price of global crude continues to remain high.

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APPOINTMENTS

  1. World Economic Forum (WEF) has appointed Sarita Nayyar as a member to its Managing board.
  2. Professor Hasan Askari Rizvi took charge as the caretaker Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab Province.
  3. Sunil Sood has been appointed as the Chairman of Telecom industry body (COAI) and Ajai Puri as Vice Chairman.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. World Ocean Day – 8th June 2018
    • On June 8th each year, we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can protect it.
    • The main action focus is to prevent plastic pollution and encourage solutions for a healthy ocean.
  1. World Brain Tumour Day – June 8, 2018
    • This day helps to create awareness among the public about brain.
    • This day also focuses on helping people suffering from brain tumor.

 

SPORTS

  1. Revised pension to meritorious Sportspersons.
    • The rate of pension for medal winners in the Para-Olympics Games and Para Asian Games will be equal to the medal winners in the Olympic Games and Asian Games respectively.
Category of meritorious pensionAmount in Rs.
Medallist at the Olympic/Para-Olympic GamesRs.20,000/-
Gold medallist at World Cup/World Championship (in Olympic/Asian Games disciplines)Rs.16,000/-

Silver/Bronze medallist at World Cup/World Championship (in Olympics / Asian Games disciplines) Gold medallist in Asian Games/

Commonwealth Games/Para Asian Games

Rs.14,000/-
Silver and Bronze medallist in Asian Games/Commonwealth Games/Para Asian GamesRs.12,000/

 

  1. Harry Kane has been named the most valuable player for the upcoming FIFA World Cup
    • The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup scheduled to take place in Russia
  1. India’s Ashish Jakhar created a new national record and won a gold medal in the men’s hammer throw event at the 2018 Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Gifu, Japan.
    • India’s Priyadarshini Suresh won bronze medal in the women’s triple jump event and Poonam Sonune won bronze medal in the women’s 5000m competition.
    • Damneet Singh came second and won silver medal with a throw of 74.08m.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Researchers have found severe uranium contamination in groundwater from aquifers in 16 Indian states
    • Arounonethirdrd of all water wells tested in Rajasthan, contained uranium levels that exceed the World Health Organization (WHO)and US Environmental Protection Agency’s safe drinking water standards.