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Govt sets a target to raise health services expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025
On July 3, 2019, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan stated that the Government sets target is to raise health services expenditure to 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP(Gross domestic product) by 2025 due to the increment of expenditure over the last 10 years.
i. Health policy: It is overarching the National Health Policy 2017 (NHP)which aims at increasing public spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2025 &recommends State governments should spend more than 8 percent of their budget on the health sector by 2020.
ii. Health centers: Under the Aayushman Bharat programme, the government proposes to set up 1.5 lakh (Of this 18,000-19,000 have already been established) health and wellness centers by 2022.
iii. Health and education cess: To cater to the education and health needs of poor and rural families, the health and education cess on personal income tax and corporation tax are changed as 4% in place of 3%.
iv. Funding Agency: Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has also started to support the infrastructure works of medical institutions.
Union Cabinet gives nod to grant OGAS status to paramilitary forces
On July 3,2019, The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal for grant of Organised Group ”A” Service (OGAS) status to Group ”A” executive cadre officers of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) & extended the benefit of Non-Functional Financial Upgradation (NFFU) and Non-Functional Selection Grade (NFSG) at an enhanced rate of 30%.
i. Beneficiaries: It will benefit around 1,200 officers and availed by the group ”A” officers of the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force(ITBP), Border Security Force(BSF), Central Industrial Security Force(CISF), and the Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB).
National Film Heritage Mission Project reviewed by Prakash Javadekar
On June 30, 2019, The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar reviewed the National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM) during a visit to the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune, Maharashtra.Key points:
i. Work done: The Government has completed an assessment of 1.32 lac film reels out of 1.5 lac reels of cinematic heritage as part of its NFHM.
ii. Jaykar Bungalow which is adjoining to NFAI building is now restored completely. The Film Institute has given 3-acre land to create a new volt where films can be stored safely.
iii. Back ground: The Government launched the prestigious mission of NFHM in 2017 with the budget of 600 crore rupees, for preservation and restoration of rich cinematic heritage of the country.
iv. NFHM Objectives: Digitization of 3,500 films, picture & sound restoration of around 2,000 landmark films, preventive conservation of around 150,000 film reels, construction of preservation and conservation facilities (vaults), training and workshops and creating a comprehensive web-based end to end IT solutions.
Cooperative Sector Exports Promotion Forum for double the farm exports by 2022: Piyush Goyal
On July 2, 2019, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stated that cooperative sector export-promotion forum (CSEPF) will be created under the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) after consultations with 20 states and Union territories. This will help to boost the farmer’s income and to double the farm exports target set by the government.
i. Background: In 2018, an agriculture export policy was unveiled by the government to double agriculture exports to $60 billion by 2022.
iii Trade fair: For the betterment of the cooperatives in the country, India International Cooperatives Trade Fair (IICTF)will also be held in New Delhi on October 2019 by commerce, agriculture, and external affairs ministries with support of cooperative bodies.
iii. Opportunity: Trade fair will help the cooperatives to interact with global buyers and understand their needs and accordingly produce or manufacture products.
iv. Agriculture export basket: Now India accounts for only a little over 2 percent of world agriculture trade, estimated at a $1.37 trillion.
v. Members: There are about 8 lakh cooperative institutions in India and 94% of 15 crore farmers in the country is a member of at least one cooperative.
Comprehensive legislation on data privacy under formulation
On July 3, 2019, Minister of Electronics and Information and Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written reply in Lok Sabha stated that comprehensive legislation on data privacy named Data Protection Bill is under formulation to strengthen the protection of personal data.
i. The government has formed a committee of experts on data protection headed by Justice (Retd) BN Srikrishna of Supreme Court to study the issues on data protection and frame Data Protection Bill.
ii. It has released a draft Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) which will be placed in the Parliament for the approval.
iii. The Bill regulates the processing of personal data of individuals (data principals) by the government and private entities (data fiduciaries) incorporated in India and abroad.
About Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology:
♦ Founded: 19 July 2016
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
Visit of Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States of America to India
The United States (US) Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo visited India on 25-27 June 2019. He held talks with the External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and it paved the way to further strengthen the India-U.S. Strategic Partnership, and continue the high-level engagement on matters of mutual interest including bilateral, regional, and global issues. Meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi
On June 26, 2019, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held talks with him. He expressed his vision for the Strategic Partnership with the Indian Government and to build a strong foundation of trust and shared interest.
Discussion on trade differences between India & US
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar acknowledged there were issues between the two countries on trade and committed themselves to remove the differences between them. They solidified their common vision for free and open Indo-Pacific.
♦ Capital: Washington, DC
♦ Currency: US Dollar
♦ President: Donald Trump
Indian Air Force and Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) participating in a bilateral air exercise Garuda VI at Mont de Marsan in France
Indian Air Force (IAF) and Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) are participating in the Garuda VI bilateral exercise at Mont de Marsan in France. The exercise has been started on July 1 and will conclude on July 12. The objective of this exercise is to validate the latest defence strategies by enhancing the interoperability level of the French and Indian crews in air defence and ground attack missions.
i. Indian side – It comprised of 120 air-warriors and four Sukhoi 30 MKI along with an IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft. Also, IAF’s C-17 Globemaster strategic lift aircraft will provide logistics support to contingent during induction and de-induction phases.
ii. French side – It comprises of Rafale, Alpha Jet, Mirage 2000, C135, E3F, C130, and Casa.
About Garuda exercise :
It is a part of their Indo-Pacific cooperation. It is alternately held in France and India. The last exercise, ‘Garuda V’, was held at Air Force Station Jodhpur in June 2014.
♦ Founded: 8 October 1932
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind
♦ Chief of the Air Staff: Birender Singh Dhanoa
J&K: Annual Chamliyal Mela celebrated without traditional exchange of sweets between Indo-Pak
On June 26, 2019, Thousand of devotees gathered at the Chamliyal border shrine along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir for an annual fair at the shrine of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, a saint popularly known as Baba Chamliyal, in Samba district. But there was no traditional exchange of ‘shakkar (soil) and sharbat (water)’ with Pakistan for the second successive year.
Background: A nearly 70-year-old practice since 1947 partition was suspended for the first time in 2018 due to the tensions between the two countries after 4 Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers were killed including an Assistant Commandant by Pakistani Rangers in the area a week before the mela.
About Jammu & Kashmir:
♦ Capital: Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)
♦ Governor: Satya Pal Malik
♦ National Parks: City Forest (Salim Ali) National Park, Dachigam National Park, Hemis National Park, Kishtwar National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Baltal-Thajwas WLS, Changthang Cold Desert WLS, Gulmarg WLS, Jasrota WLS, Karakoram (Nubra Shyok) WLS, Nandini WLS, Surinsar Mansar WLS etc
First Ever IICTF to be held in New Delhi from October 11-13, 2019
The first ever India International Cooperatives Trade Fair (IICTF) will be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from October 11-13, 2019. It is a unique initiative for taking farmers, artisans and other members of cooperatives directly to the international trade arena. Key Points:
i. The event is organized by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) with the support of Network for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Asia and the Pacific (NEDAC), three Ministries, four State Governments and several apex levels Indian cooperative organizations.
ii. The event is aimed to promote cooperatives to trade within India and abroad to enhance rural and farm prosperity.
82-member rhino protection force deployed in Kaziranga National Park, Assam
On June 30, 2019, 82 members “Special Rhino Protection Force” (SRPF) was deployed in Kaziranga National Park (KNP), Assam with an objective to protect the one-horned rhinoceros.
i. SRPF consists of 74 men & 8 women who are trained to combat poachers and understand animal behaviour. They are posted under 8 ranges of KNP.
ii. The process of setting up special force was initiated in 2015 and in July 2018, recruited members were given appointment letter.
iii. KNP, home for one-horned rhino, was declared as the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site in 1985.
WHO launches its first guidelines on self-care interventions for health
The World Health Organization has introduced its first guideline on self-care interventions for health named “WHO Consolidated Guideline on Self-Care Interventions for Health”. Its first volume has focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
WHO has used the following definition of Health care:
“Self-care is the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health- care provider”…………………………..Click here to Read more
Ending the use of Single-use plastic shopping bags by New Zealand government kicks in
In order to tackle plastic pollution, the Government of New Zealand has officially banned single-use plastic shopping bags with effect from 1 July 2019. It also introduced the hefty fines of up to 100,000 New Zealand dollar (USD 67,000) for businesses that continue to provide them. Key points:
i. Legislation: Waste Minimization (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018, which was announced in August 2018 came into force on July 1, 2019, in New Zealand.
ii. Ban: The retailers including stores, supermarkets, and restaurants will no longer be able to sell or distribute any single-use plastic shopping bags but the law allows reusable carriers to continue being provided.
iii. Report: As per the report of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) More than 80 countries have already introduced similar bans.
vi. Single-use plastic shopping bags: These are any plastic bag which has handles and is less than 70 microns thick.
About New Zealand
♦ Capital: Wellington
♦ Prime minister: Jacinda Ardern
Trump becomes 1st sitting US president takes Steps Into North Korea
On July 1, 2019, US (United States) President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to enter North Korea after briefly crossed the border in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea. He met North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks. Key points:
i. Third meeting: This was their third meeting in just over a year on the old Cold War frontier that for decades has symbolized the hostility between their countries, which are technically still at war.
ii. Background: They met for the first time in Singapore in June 2018 and second time in Hanoi, Vietnam in February 2019 to improve relations and work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
India pledged to contribute $5 million to UN Palestine refugee agency in 2019
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu stated that the Government of India has pledged to contribute $5 million in 2019 to UN Palestine refugee agency. India increased the annual financial contribution to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) core budget, from $1.25 million in 2016 to $5 million in 2018.Key Points:
i. India also raised concern over the financial situation of the agency and called for ensuring sustained financial support for its work.
ii. This was announced in the meeting of the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee for Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA.
iii. The Government of India is assisting 150 Palestinian professionals every year under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation program.
♦ Founded: 8 December 1949
♦ Headquarters: Amman, Jordan
♦ Commissioner General: Pierre Krähenbühl
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
As per ILO, India could lose 34 million jobs in 2030 due to global warming
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in its report ‘Working on a Warmer Planet: The Impact of Heat Stress on Labour Productivity and Decent Work’, stated that India is projected to lose 5.8% of working hours in 2030 equivalent to 34 million full-time jobs due to global warming. It will mainly impact the agriculture and construction sectors. Key Points:
i. The estimates were based on a global temperature rise of 1.5 degree Celsius by the end of the twenty-first century, and labour force trends.
ii. The global financial loss due to heat stress was expected to reach $2,400 billion by 2030.
iii. Globally, in 2030, 2.2% of total working hours will be lost to high temperatures which is a productivity loss equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs.
iv. India will be the most affected country because of its large population.
v. The report also noted that Ahmedabad, a city in Gujarat, incorporated a cool roofs initiative into its 2017 Heat Action Plan to provide access to affordable cool roofs for the slum residents and urban poor.
vi. Other sectors which are at risk include refuse collection, emergency services, transport, tourism, and sports, with southern Asian and western African States suffering the biggest productivity losses, equivalent to approximately 5% of working hours by 2030.
♦ Founded: 1919
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Director-General: Guy Ryder
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Overview of Sports Journalists Federation of India 2019 Awards
The annual general meeting of Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI) 2019 was held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It honors the sports-persons for their contribution to sport and for record-breaking reign in the National and international scene. Here’s a look at the full list of awards and winners:
|SJFI Medal (SJFI’s Highest Honour)||Prakash Padukone (Badminton)|
|Sportsperson of the Year 2019||Pankaj Advani (Billiards and Snooker) and Bajrang Punia (Wrestling).|
|Emerging Talent of the Year 2019||Saurabh Choudhary (shooting)|
|Team of the Year 2019||Vidarbha cricket team|
World Economic Forum Awards Quantela Inc, a 2019 Technology Pioneer
On July 1, 2019, Quantela Inc, a Hyderabad and Silicon Valley-headquartered digital technology company, was awarded World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Technology Pioneers’ award 2019. It was selected by a selection committee of more than 59 academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and corporate executives.
i. Quantela: It is a new age digital technology solutions company focused on IoT(Internet of Things). It provides a comprehensive, customizable, scalable platform, “Atlantis” that helps cities to proactively predict and solve social, economic and environmental problems.
ii. Technologies: This year technology pioneers emerged from a diverse set of industries focusing on AI(Artificial Intelligence), IoT, robotics, blockchain, etc.
iii. Past recipients: It includes Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia.
♦ CEO and founder: Sridhar Gadhi
♦ Founded: 2015
♦ Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland
♦ Founder: Klaus Schwab
♦ Founded: January 1971.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Shri Rabindra Panwar given additional charge as secretary to the Ministry of Textiles
The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the assignment of additional charge as Secretary to the Ministry of Textiles to Rabindra Panwar, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development with immediate effect and till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders whichever is earlier. He is the 1985 Indian Administrative Service Officer (IAS) of Bihar cadre. He succeeded Raghvendra Singh.
MFIN appoints Manoj Kumar Nambiar as chairman & Vineet Chattreem as vice chairman
On July 2, 2019. The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) announced the new appointments at its 10th Annual General Meeting in New Delhi. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, Managing Director (MD) of Arohan Financial Services, was appointed as its chairman succeeding Udaya Kumar Hebbar. Vineet Chattreem, director of Svatantra Microfin, was selected as the vice chairman succeeding Dibyajyoti Pattanaik.Key Points:
i. The Chief Executive Officer of MFIN Harsh Shrivastava announced the appointment of Gyan Mohan and Jagadish Ramadugu into its governing board.
ii. MFIN is an industry association which consists of 56 Non-Banking Financial Company-Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) and 40 associates including Banks, Small Finance Banks (SFBs) and NBFCs.
♦ Founded: 2012
♦ Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana
Rahul Gandhi resigned as Congress President
On July 3, 2019, Congress president Rahul Gandhi officially resigned from his post. He stated that accountability was critical to the future growth of the party and assumed that he was responsible for the loss of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the absence of party president, Congress party is led by senior most leader until a chief is appointed.
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Vaibhav Yadav, Indian pro boxer won World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia silver welterweight title 2019
Vaibhav Yadav, Indian pro boxer won the World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia silver welterweight championship 2019 that held in Pattaya, Thailand.Key Points:
i. He defeated Fahpetch Singmanassak of Thailand.
ii. The Championship was conducted by the Asian Boxing Council(ABCO) and approved by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
About Asian Boxing Council(ABCO):
♦ Headquarter – Thailand
♦ President – Pol.Gen.Kovid Bhakdibhumi(Thailand)
♦ Formed – 1985
♦ There are 20 national members
India’s middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu, announced retirement from all forms of cricket
Indian Cricket team’s, middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu (33) announced retirement from all forms of cricket. He hails from Andhra Pradesh.Key Points:
i. He announced his retirement after he was ignored in the 15-member World Cup squad even though he was in standbys list for the World Cup.
ii. Last year, he announced retirement from first-class cricket to focus on one-dayers and T20s.
iii. He Played 55 One Day International(ODI’s), 6 Twenty20 International(T20I’s), 97 First Class Cricket and 160 List A Cricket.
iv. He also played for Hyderabad in domestic cricket, and Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Carlin Dunne, motorcycle racer passed away at Colorado race
Carlin Dunne, motorcycle racer aged 36 passed away during the 97th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He hailed from Santa Barbara, California, USA. He was the fastest racer of the Hill Climb.i. He crashed his 2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Prototype near the finish line during the 97th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
ii. He won the championship earlier in the year 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2018.
iii. He earned the title of “King of the Mountain” after becoming the first motorcycle rider in the history of the race to achieve a sub-10-minute time in 2012.
Former Chrysler CEO, Lee Iacocca passed away at the age 94 in Bel Air, California
Celebrity businessman Lee Iacocca passed away at the age of 94 in California due to Parkinson’s disease. He was the former CEO of Chrysler and also worked in Ford. He hailed from Pennsylvania, United States.i. In 1979, he helped the Chrysler which was floundering in $5 billion of debt.
ii. Under his leadership, Chrysler introduced the minivan to the market and later the suburban utility vehicle (SUV).
iii. In the 1960s, he was best known for the development of Ford Mustang and Pinto cars, while working in Ford Motor Company.
iv. In 1984, he released his autobiography titled “Iacocca-An Autobiography” and in 1988, he released a book titled “Talking Straight” which was his best seller books. He even appeared on Miami Vice.
World Vitiligo Day 2019 observed on June 25
World Vitiligo Day (WVD) was observed on June 25, 2019. It is aimed to build global awareness about Vitiligo and to fight misconceptions regarding chronic skin disorder. The theme for this year is “The Quality of Life of a Vitiligo Patient”. Vitiligo is a skin disease where pale white patches start forming on the skin due to lack of melanin, a skin pigment. Key Points:
i. The first WVD was observed in 2011.
ii. The day is observed as a memorial to Michael Jackson, an American singer, songwriter and dancer, who suffered from vitiligo from the early 1980s until his death on June 25, 2009.
iii. The International Conference on WVD for 2019 was held in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Rajasthan government to establish a board for vedic education, culture
On June 28, 2019, Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot at the 25th ‘Bhamashah Sammelan’ held at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur announced the establishment of a Vedic education and culture board in Rajasthan.
i. The board will assist future generations to take inspiration from Vedic culture, tradition, and values.
ii. At the state-level convention, the chief minister felicitated the ‘Bhamashahs’ for their contributions in promoting education.
Centre declared Nagaland as ‘Disturbed Area’ under AFSPA for 6 more months
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared the entire state of Nagaland as “disturbed area” for six more months, with effect from June 30, 2019, till December 31, 2019, under the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 -No. 28 of 1958 (AFSPA).
i. Background: The AFSPA is in force in Nagaland for several decades and it is not withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and government interlocutor R N Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations for the last 18 years with the first breakthrough in 1997.
ii. Reason: The decision to continue the declaration of Nagaland as “disturbed area” has been taken as killings, loot and extortion have been going on in various parts of Nagaland.
iii. Powers of the Act: It empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without prior notice.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is an act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces- the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”. According to The Disturbed Areas Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain the status quo for a minimum of 3 months.
♦ Capital: Kohima
♦ Chief Minister: Neiphiu Rio
♦ Governor: PB Acharya
♦ National Parks: Intanki National Park
Uttarakhand launches One-time settlement scheme for recovering NPAs of cooperative banks
On July 1, 2019, The State Government of Uttarakhand implemented a one-time settlement’ scheme for debt trapped state cooperative banks which had the NPA (Non Performing Assets) of Rs 391.50 crore which have piled up over the last 25 years.
i. Relief: In this scheme, some relief will be given to the account holders, who have taken loans up to Rs. 60 lakhs from cooperative banks. The account holders who have died and already repaid the capital amount will get total interest waiver.
ii. Common category: Those who have already paid interest equal to the principal loan amount will be required to repay only the principal amount.
iii. Dubious accounts: For the ‘suspected’ loans, the banks will give a discount of 30 percent on interests of the loans.
iv. Recovery: Loan repayments worth Rs 21 crore were collected in a one month.
v. Duration: The 100-day scheme is effective from July 1, 2019, and continues till 7th October 2019.
Chief minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
Governor: Baby Rani Maurya
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