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Highlights of Union Budget 2019-20
On July 5, 2019, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman made her maiden Budget Speech and presented the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha. She broke away from the tradition when she replaced the conventional leather briefcase with a bright red cloth bag to carry the Budget papers to the Parliament House. “Gaon, Garib and Kisan” (Village, Poor, and Farmer) was the centre of all policies of the Modi 2.0 Government.
Key Highlights of the Budget 2019-20:-
10-point Vision for the decade
- Building Team India with Jan Bhagidari: Minimum Government Maximum Governance.
- Achieving green Mother Earth and Blue Skies through a pollution-free India.
- Making Digital India reach every sector of the economy.
- Launching Gaganyan, Chandrayan, other Space and Satellite programmes.
- Building physical and social infrastructure.
- Water, water management, clean rivers.
- Blue Economy.
- Self-sufficiency and export of food-grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables.
- Achieving a healthy society via Ayushman Bharat, well-nourished women & children, safety of citizens.
- Emphasis on MSMEs, Start-ups, defence manufacturing, automobiles, electronics, fabs and batteries, and medical devices under Make in India…………Click here to Read more
UNESCO releases State of the Education Report for India 2019 in New Delhi
On July 3, 2019, The first 2019 report of “State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with Disabilities” has released by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) at an event in New Delhi. The Report, which will be an annual publication, highlights accomplishments and challenges with regards to the right to education of children with disabilities (CWDs).
i. Findings: India is home to eight million children with disabilities and there are more than 78 lakh children aged under 19 lived with disabilities. At present three-fourths of 5-year old children and one-fourths of kids aged between 5 and 19 with disabilities in India are out of school.
ii. Fail to attain literacy: Only 61% of CWDs were attending an educational institution, about 12% had dropped out, while 27% had never been to school at all…………………..Click here to Read more
The sanitation coverage in the rural areas jumped to 99% from 38% in 2014: Jal Shakti ministry
On July 4, 2019, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria stated that under the Government’s ambitious scheme, “Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)” 9 crores 62 lakh individual household toilets have been constructed since 2014.
i. Coverage: In the rural areas of the country, the sanitation coverage has increased to more than 99%, which was over 38% on 2nd October 2014.
ii. ODF: 632 Districts, 30 States, over 2.50 lakh Gram Panchayats and five lakh 67 thousand 498 villages have been declared open defecation Free(ODF).
About Swachh Bharat Mission:
It was launched on 2nd October 2014 by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation. It consists of two sub-missions Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)-(SBM-G) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
SBM-G seeks to eliminate open defecation in rural areas by improving access to sanitation by ensuring the use of toilets, besides their construction. It also seeks to generate awareness to motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and encourage the use of appropriate technologies for sanitation.
India to get the first e-Vehicle Charging Highway by March 2020
The highways of Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Agra are India’s first highway corridors to get charging stations for electric vehicles by March 2020.
The total distance of the corridors on Yamuna Expressway (between Delhi and Agra) and National Highway 48 (between Delhi and Jaipur) will be 500 km and 18 charging stations will be set up near toll plazas on both these highways routes to charge & change batteries.
i. Proposal: The e-corridor was first proposed under the Ease of Doing Business Programme of the Advance Services for Social and Administrative Reforms (ASSAR), a private firm backed by the central government.
ii. Chargers: The 500-km of the expressway will be converted into electric corridors with facilities for charging electric vehicles and each of the 18 stations will have eight to 10 chargers and 20 charging points.
iii. Cost: About two crore rupees would be spent in the development of a single charging station and the electricity tariff.
iv. Background: Earlier in 2019, the government issued a set of guidelines to set up an Electric Vehicle charging station every 25 km across India.
v. Aim: The government expects 25 % of the total vehicles on roads will be e-vehicles by 2030.
The Indian Army releases special tribute video to commemorate 20 years of ‘Operation Vijay’
On July 5, 2019, To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas(26th July 2019), the Indian army has released a special Kargil Tribute Song’ to honor, salute and pay homage to the Kargil martyrs and the war veterans who sacrificed and fought for the country.
The video was released by the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.Key points:
i. The song titled ‘Tujhe Bhulega Na Tera Hindustan’ has been written by renowned Bollywood lyricist Sameer featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Olympic bronze medallist boxer Mary Kom, actors Salman Khan, Vicky Kaushal, Anupam Kher, Kangana Ranaut, and Suniel Shetty.
ii. The Kargil War was between India and Pakistan took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district and along the Line of Control (LOC) after which India launched Operation Vijay to clear the Kargil sector occupied by the Pakistani Army.
As per Greenpeace India, Six Indian metros are hotspots of air pollutant nitrogen oxide
As per the analysis by environmental Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Greenpeace India, transport and industrial clusters were giving rise to the country’s worst Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) hotspots like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad. They have a high vehicular population and diesel consumption.
i. The data was collected between February 2018 and May 2019.
ii. Coal consumption and industrial clusters like Sonbhadra-Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Korba in Chattisgarh, Talcher in Odisha, Chandrapur in Maharashtra, Mundra in Gujarat and Durgapur in West Bengal were polluting the environment with Nitrogen Oxide emissions.
About Greenpeace India:
♦ Founded: 2001
♦ Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka
BANKING & FINANCE
Hong Kong Govt donates over $9 million to cyclone” Fani”-hit Odisha
On July 6, 2019, The Government of Hong Kong approved to grant about $9,02,278 (7.032 million Hong Kong dollars) from Hong Kong’s Disaster Relief Fund for cyclone Fani victims in Odisha.
i. Benefit: This will benefit around 45,100 cyclone victims who were affected by cyclone storm,’Fani’ in May 2019 that killed 64 people and damaged more than five lakh houses in the Odisha’s coastal districts.
ii. Purpose: The grants will be used to provide hygiene kits, kitchen kits, water kits, and education kits as well as household and shelter kits to the victims.
iii. The relief agencies asked to submit the evaluation reports and audited accounts on the use of the grants after the completion of the project.
iv. Cyclone Fani: It was a severe cyclonic storm, made landfall impact May 3, 2019, in the south of Puri on the Odisha coast.
About Hong Kong:
♦ Currency: Hong Kong dollar
♦ Official languages: Chinese; English
♦ Capital: Bhubaneswar
♦ Chief minister: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor: Ganeshi Lal
RBI gets the power to regulate housing finance companies instead of NHB
On July 5, 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India(RBI) will now be given power to takes over as the regulator of Housing Finance Firms(HFFs) instead of NHB(National Housing Bank).Key points:
i. The government will also provide a one-time six-month partial guarantee to state-run banks for the acquisition of up to 1 trillion rupees ($14.6 billion) of highly-rated assets from NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Company).
ii. The financial crisis emerged from Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFC) and Reliance Capital Ltd led to this decision for giving fresh fund. The cash crunch at such firms could weaken the financial system and economy given their large lending role and ties with banks, mutual funds, and insurers.
iii. NBFCs stocks surged after the credit guarantee announcement. Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd and L&T Finance Holdings Ltd rose more than 5%, while Shriram Transport Finance Co. rose more than 3%.
iv. The RBI has also proposed plans to tighten NBFCs’ asset-liability management and liquidity coverage ratios and resisted demands from within the industry to provide a separate liquidity window for NBFCs.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Founded: 9 July 1988
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Managing Director: Sarada Kumar Hota
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Elavenil Valarivan clinched women’s 10m Air Rifle silver medal in the 30th Summer Universiade Games 2019
On July 4, 2019, Elavenil Valarivan (19), a three-time junior World Cup medallist strikes her silver medal in 10m Air Rifle Women’s event in the 30th World University Summer Games 2019 held in Napoli, Italy.Key points:
i. After qualifying at the top with a University record of 630.8 finished ahead of Lin Ying-Shin (629.8) and Lucie Brazdova (628.1), the Tamilnadu shooter(Elavenil) shot 249.0 in the final and was beaten by 1.3 points by Lucie Brazdova (Czech Republic).
ii. She will be next participating in ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) Junior World Cup 2019, Suhl which is scheduled to start from July 12, 2019.
♦ Capital :Rome
♦ Currency :Euro (EUR)
♦ President :Sergio Mattarella
♦ Prime Minister :Giuseppe Conte
International Day of Cooperatives 2019 observed on July 6
United Nations International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July and this year it was observed on July 6, 2019. Its aim is to create awareness of cooperatives and promote international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. The theme for 2019 is “Coops 4 decent work”.Key Points:
i. It is the 25th United Nations International Day of Cooperatives and the 96th International Cooperative day.
ii. It was celebrated for the first time in July 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
iii. On December 16, 1992, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed to celebrate the first Saturday of July 1995 to be International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary of the establishment of the International Cooperative Alliance, which was founded in London in August 1895.
iv. Since 1995, the United Nations and the International Cooperative Alliance set the theme for the day (#CoopsDay) through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC).
♦ Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
♦ President: Ariel Guarco
World Zoonoses Day 2019 observed on July 6
The World Zoonoses Day 2019 was observed on July 6. The day is celebrated to create awareness on zoonotic diseases and to teach people to take the right action on diseases. The word zoonoses is derived from the Greek words zoon (animal) and nosos (ailment).Key Points:
i. The day is celebrated every year to commemorate the day, in 1885 when Louis Pasteur successfully administered the first vaccine against Rabies virus.
ii. Zoonoses are infectious diseases (virus, bacteria and parasites) that can be spread from animals to humans, and vice versa. They can spread from direct contact with animals or indirectly, vector-borne or food-borne.
Chhattisgarh CM inaugurated ‘Jan Choupal’ program to hold public meetings
On July 3, 2019, The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel has inaugurated the ‘Jan Choupal’ program in Raipur, Chhattisgarh for holding public meetings once every week to discuss the issues of the people.
i. In order to resolve the issues of people, the concept of this program has been taken from the practices of ancestors in the village. So that people can come and discuss their issues in the meeting.
♦ Capital: Raipur
♦ Governor: Anandiben Patel
♦ National Parks: Indravati (Kutru) National Park, Kanger Valley National Park, Guru Ghasi Das (Sanjay) National Park.
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Achanakmar WLS, Badalkhol WLS, Barnawapara WLS, Bhairamgarh WLS, Bhoramdev WLS, Sarangarh-Gomardha WLS, Pamed Wild Buffalo WLS, Semarsot WLS, Sitanadi WLS, Tamor Pingla WLS, Udanti Wild Buffalo WLS.
Tripura gets Rs 358 Cr of a special grant from Centre for road projects
On July 5, 2019, The Union Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India has sanctioned an additional amount of Rs 358 crore for the speedy completion of half-done construction works and maintenance of roads in rural areas of Tripura.
i. PMGSY: Under the Prime Minister Gramin Sadak Yojana(PMGSY), the grant would help the state government to complete the projects and infrastructure development works and modern technology and materials would be used for the maintenance of roads.
ii. The additional amount was demanded by the Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb from the Centre.
iii. The State Government also has undertaken the project of constructing 42 roads covering 307.23 kilometers with the aid of Rs 299.96 crore from World Bank.
♦ Capital: Agartala
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ National Parks: Clouded Leopard National Park ,Rajbari National Park.
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Gumti WLS, Rowa WLS, Sepahijala WLS, Trishna WLS.
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