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Union Cabinet Approvals – July 13, 2016
Cabinet approves the revised plan for Punatsangchhu-II Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan
♦ Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Union Cabinet gave its approval for the revision of cost estimation for of the Punatsangchhu-II Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan.
♦ This approval has Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of Rs. 7290.62 crore for the ongoing 1020 MW Punatsangchhu-II Hydroelectric Project. The total cost estimation for the project earlier is Rs.3777.82 crore.
Union Cabinet approves revitalization of inoperative Fertilizer Units in Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
♦ The Union Cabinet headed by Shri. Narendra Modi has approved to revitalize the inoperative Fertilizers Units in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
These three Fertilizer Units are as follows:-
|Fertilizer Corporation India Ltd – FCIL||Sindri||Jharkhand|
|Hindusthan Fertilizers Corporation Ltd – HFCL||Barauni||Bihar|
|Fertilizers Corporation India Ltd||Gorakhpur||Uttar Pradesh|
Central Cabinet nods for renaming the Rajendra Central Agricultural University to ‘Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University’.
♦ The Union Cabinet chaired by Shri. Narendra Modi has given its retroactive agreement for renaming the Rajendra Central Agricultural University to ‘Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University’, Pusa.
Cabinet approves LTV visas for Minority Community Diaspora
♦ As a result of Government’s steps during the last 2 years to facilitate the stay of persons belonging to minority communities of some countries, The Union Cabinet Ministry approved the extension of facilities to people from Minority communities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians staying on Long Term Visa (LTV) in India.
Government apprises Aadhar Act – New Chief to be elected soon for UIDAI
i. The central Cabinet has formed a supreme Committee to select the new chairperson for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
ii. The central Government notified that the Aadhar Act 2016 is going to be enacted to perform its provisions, thereby providing a compact structure to the UIDAI.
iii. The Centre has also separately notified the UIDAI Rules, 2016, paving the way for appointment of its chairperson and members.
iv. The central Government is waiting for the final verdict of the Supreme Court in this case.The Aadhaar Act will be notified in two phases for operationalisation of the Act. The chairperson and members once appointed will pass the regulations for notifying rest of the Act.
Apex court restored Congress ruling in Arunachal Pradesh
i. The Supreme Court of India on 13th July restored the Congress-led Nabam Tuki government in Arunachal Pradesh spelled out by the Centre in January.
ii. It is considered as a down step for BJP party, as the SCI reappointed the Congress Govt. in AP.
iii. Since January 26, 2016 AP has been under President rule. During this course of the hearing of a batch of petitions filed by speaker Nabam Rebia, Tuki and others challenging the imposition of president’s rule, the proclamation was revoked on February 19.
iv. All steps and decisions taken by the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, pursuant to the governor’s order and message dated December 9 are not to be sustained and the same are accordingly ear marked.
v. The message of the governor dated December 9 directing the manner of conducting proceedings during the sixth session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, from December 16 to December 18 is under violation of Article 163 read with Article 175 of the constitution is also cancelled.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Ita nagar
♦ Governor – Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa.
Mumbai Square gets a new name – Jyotirmoy Dey, a bumped off Jounalist
i. Famous Mumbai Square is renamed after Jyotirmoy Dey, A Journalist who has been shot dead in this same square in 2011.
ii. “J Dey Chowk” – Newly named square was unveiled by the Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar.
iii. The naming of the square after the journalist was an initiative of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Press Club.
iv. J Dey, was a fearless journalist, wrote on Mumbai underworld’s activities and gang-wars umpteen times in several dailies. The crime reporter worked with leading publications including Mid-Day and Hindustan Times.v. Local corporator Chandan Sharma, MLA Naseem Khan, Mumbai Press Club chairman Gurbir Singh were among the people in the dais.
Kerala launches ‘world’s first’ digital student incubator
i. Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has launched SV.CO, ostensibly world’s first digital student incubator, as a digital makeover of the Startup Village in Kochi.
ii. The SV.CO Startup Village will constitute the second phase of development of Startup Village and is designed to help thousands of college-goers make an early start in entrepreneurship.
iii. This Startup Village is India’s first PPP model technology incubator and has supported more than 500 start-ups and helped create 3,000 jobs during its first phase 2012-15.
iv. The move will increase by reaching out to five million students in 3,500 engineering colleges across the country and will also provide them a completely digital incubation framework, ranging from application for admission to teaching, mentoring and graduation.
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ Governor: P. Sathasivam
Opeartion ‘Sankat Mochan’ – VK Singh leads in the evacuation of Indians in South Sudan
i. VK Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs left for South Sudan leading the government’s Operation Sankat Mochan’ to evacuate over 600 Indians stranded in the war-trapped African country.
ii. India has sent Two C-17 Globe master aircraft to Juba on July 14 to evacuate 600 Indians
iii. It is noted that VK Singh is keeping company with Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, Joint Secretary Satbir Singh and Director Anjani Kumar.
iv. Only Indian nationals with valid Indian travel document will be allowed boarding with maximum five kg cabin baggage and no check-in pieces. Women and children will be accommodated on priority till New Delhi.
v. In this war-torn country, there are around 600 Indians in South Sudan, of them 450 are in Juba and nearly 150 are outside the capital.
ZIKA Medical emergency across half of the country – declared by PERU
i. After confirming that 102 people have been infected with the virus, Peru has officially declared a Zika health emergency across the northern half of their country.
ii. Zika is seen as a cause of microcephaly – abnormally small heads and brains – in babies. A major Zika outbreak in neighboring Brazil, where nearly 1,600 babies have been born with the birth defect, has prompted concerns for athletes and visitors ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month.
iii. There is growing evidence that in limited cases Zika can also be transmitted sexually
iv. The 90-day emergency was announced in the official gazette El Peruano.
v. The health ministry and local authorities were working to prevent the spread of the disease, which is principally transmitted by mosquitoes.
♦ Capital – Lima
♦ Currency – Peruvian nuevo sol
India Ranks Second On List of Shark Fishing Nations: WWF
i. India ranks second on the global list of shark fishing nations as fishing of the species in the country has progressed from being incidental to targeted fishing. The list is topped by Indonesia.
ii. India had made efforts to promote sustainable shark fisheries and better monitor how many and what species were being caught, India announced a ban on the practice of shark finning by issuing the Fins Naturally Attached policy requiring fishers to land sharks with their fins attached.
iii. Internationally, finning is a common practice of exclusion of shark fins for export purpose to nations, particularly China, for its use in soups and other weaknesses. The remaining shark body is discarded into the sea.
BANKING & FINANCE
Axis Bank ties up with Vistara to introduce cobranded credit card
Guragon based India’s fastest developing air carrier “VISTARA” ties up with AXIS bank to release a contactless Vistara credit card using the VISA platform.
The cards come with a yearly fee of Rs. 1,500, Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 10,000
The card comes in three variants:
The card also tenders enhanced insurance coverage, including air accident cover up to 2.5 crore.
Cauvery Delta’s Irrigation Facilities to be Boosted up through ADB’s Loan Agreement with GOI
In order to fortify and develop the important Irrigation and Drainage management system in the Cauvery Delta of Tamil nadu, GOI and ADB has signed a pact on July 14 which estimates around $100 million (670 Crores approx.).
♦ This system is going to revitalize the mounds and hills of the six major Irrigation systems in the Vennar system and also to renovate the existing Pumping stations.
♦ The loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 25-year term.
♦ The Water Resources Department of the State of Tamil Nadu is responsible for implementing the project and is expected to be completed by December 2020.
SIDBI picks eight ventures to invest Rs 428 crore in startups
i. The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has chosen eight venture funds to invest instartups as defined under the Startup India Action Plan and will support them with a corpus amount of Rs 428 crore.
ii. The Development Bank’s Venture Capital Investment Committee (VCIC), that consist of former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, former Nasscom chief Kiran Karnik, and others, had screened 13 proposals from VC funds.
iii. The committee recommended 8 proposals for an aggregate corpus support of around Rs 428 crore from the Fund of Funds for Startups as announced by PM Modi earlier this year and cleared by the cabinet last month.
iv. The six funds that have already received support from Sidbi to invest in startups are funds for SME advantage.
♦ Kae Capital
♦ Orios Venture Partners
♦ Ideaspring Capital
♦ Parampara Early Stage Opportunities Fund
♦ IFCI Venture Capital Fund’s
IndusInd Bank opens IFSC Banking Unit at GIFT City
i. Mumbai based Indian new generation lender IndusInd Bank has opened its IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) to meet the requirements of offshore banking.
ii. It became the sixth bank to open an IBU at GIFT.
iii. IndusInd Bank’s IBU will provide the bank access to International financial markets and will allow it to deliver a complete range of products to its clients with foreign currency funding requirements.
iv. GIFT IFSC has had a total business transactions crossing the US$ 475-million mark, generated by 5 operational IBUs of YES Bank, Federal Bank, IDBI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank each.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ CEO: Romesh Sobti
Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd launches corporate deposit scheme
i. Dewan Housing Finance has launched a short-term Corporate Deposit Scheme, which offers interest rates ranging from 7.55 % to 8.40 %, depending on the tenure.
ii. The minimum deposit under the scheme, which is targeted to meet the short-term investment requirements of corporate customers and is available only to public and private limited companies registered under the Companies Act, is Rs.10 lakh.
iii. Under this scheme Corporates can place deposits for 31 days to 364 days. CRISIL has rated these corporate deposits as A1+ indicating very strong degree of safety regarding timely payment of financial obligations.
iv. Upon this scheme corporate deposits are 7.55 % for 31 days; 7.65 % for 61 days; 7.90 % for 91 days; and 8.40 % each for 181 days, 271 days and 364 days.
Ex-Google engineer, Paul Taylor launches blockchain-based system for banks
i. A former Google engineer Paul Taylor launched speech recognition software is used in more than a billion Android smartphones, that uses block chain technology to build a new operating system for banks.
ii. Blockchain technology has captured the imagination of the financial industry, with advocates saying it has the potential to shake up how markets operate.
iii. The technology fortifies the digital currency bitcoin, makes a shared database in which participants can trace every transaction ever made.
iv. Paul is a Cambridge University academic man who is in progress on the system, called Vault OS, two years ago in a basement in London’s Shoreditch district.
E-filing: ATM-based validation facility enhanced
i. In a bid to make taxpayers hassle free the Income Tax department has widened the ATM-based validation system for filing of online Returns by taxpayers.
ii. The department has included Axis Bank to enhance the paperless regime of filing the annual Income Tax returns and the dept also launched the bank account-based validation facility in this regard for those who have not availed the internet banking facility.
iii. Also Electronic Verification Code can, now, also be generated by pre-validating the ATM provided by Axis Bank.
iv. These measures helps to validate the e-ITR so that the taxpayer does not take the trouble of sending the paper-based ITR-V by post for final resolution and processing.
GoAir signs $7.7 billion deal with Airbus for 72 A320neo
i. India’s fifth-biggest carrier GoAir announced an agreement with European plane maker Airbus to buy 72 A320neos in a deal worth about $7.7 billion.
ii. The deal will help continue company’s growth and built on its existing order for 72 of the same aircraft which it made in 2011.
iii. The new A320neo has latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which deliver for 15 percent saving of the fuel from day one and 20 per cent by 2020.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Forbes Heroes of Philanthropy List 2016 – Five Indians grabbed Top Spots.
This list comprises of the people from 13 countries, which accounts for 40 philanthropists. A philanthropist is a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others particularly by the generous donation of money to good causes.
Indians among these 40 in the list are:-
♦ Vineet and Anupama Nayar, founders of the Sampark Foundation,
♦ Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India,
♦ Bain India CEO Amit Chandra and his wife Archana Chandra,
♦ CEO of Jai Vakeel Foundation.
Emirates named the best in the world at Skytrax World Airline Awards 2016
i. The world’s best airline for this year is Emirates, according to a survey of millions of airline passengers conducted by Skytrax World Airline Awards 2016. This is the fourth time Emirates has won the top accolade since inception.
ii. The Dubai based Fly Emirates has won the top honors at Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony at the Farnborough International Airshow in England.
iii. The Airliner in addition to raising up the awards for World’s Best Inflight Entertainment for a record 12th consecutive year, and Best Airline in the Middle East.
The top 5 best airlines according the Skytrax:
♦ Qatar Airways
♦ Singapore Airlines
♦ Cathay Pacific
♦ ANA All Nippon Airways
Patnaik’s appointment as CEO, NATGRID
i. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed senior IPS officer Ashok Patnaik as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID).
ii. Presently he is working as Additional Director in the Intelligence Bureau (IB). He is son-in-law of former PM Manmohan Singh.
iii. Patnaik is a 1983-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre. He will succeed Raghu Raman, the first CEO of NATGIRD ended in June 2015.
Raghu Reddy – Ex Snapdeal executive is appointed by Xiaomi as its online sales head for India
i. Xiaomi India has appointed Ragu Reddy (Senior Director of Mobile and Tablet Business) as its India Head for Online Sales.
ii. Xiaomi’s 90% sales comes through online business in India. Still, this company started focusing on offline sales in India.
iii. Reddy has spent about four years in New Delhi-based Snapdeal, prior to which he was with leading consultancy firm Ernst and Young.
iv. It is noted that Xiaomi is a well known Chinese Electronics Company with HQ in Beijing, China was founded in 2010. Its Chief Executive Officer is Lei Jun.
Travel portal Yatra to merge with Nasdaq-listed Terrapin, deal valued at $218 million
i. E-travel agent Yatra has signed a deal to merger its business with the Nasdaq-listed Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation (TRTL).
ii. The merged entity will continue to be run by Yatra’s management under leadership of chief executive and co-founder Dhruv Shringi.
iii. The deal values the travel Indian portal at $218 million (Rs 1,465 crore). Yatra, like its rival Indian portal, MakeMyTrip, will also list at Nasdaq.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Admiral Sunil Lanba Commissions Marine Commandos Unit ‘INS Karna’
i. Indian Navy launched a dedicated base for its Special Operation Forces – MARCOS (Marine Commandos) named INS Karna was commissioned in Visakhapatnam by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba.
ii. The first base for Indian Navy’s elite force with capability to operate in all three dimensions of warfare – air, land and sea in the homeport of the Navy on the Eastern Seaboard.
iii. The MARCOS East unit has developed in terms of manpower, infrastructure, equipment holding and other resources.
Talgo becomes the fastest train; clocks 180 km/hr
i. Spanish-made Talgo is the fastest train in the country by clocking a speed of 180 km/hr by covering 84 km in 38 minutes in a trial conducted by Railways on Mathura-Palwal route, surpassing the record of Gatimaan Express whose speed is 160 km/hr.
ii. When the trial, the train covered 84 km in 38 minutes between Mathura and Palwal. On the first day of the trial between Mathura and Palwal, the train had clocked 120 km/hr following which it was decided that its speed would be increased by 10 km/hr.
iii. The Talgo train also aims to connect the national capital, New Delhi, with the financial capital, Mumbai.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Shah Rukh Khan launches Sania Mirza’s autobiography ‘Ace Against Odds’
i. Bollywood’s star Shah Rukh Khan launched tennis star Sania Mirza’s the autobiography, Ace Against Odds, in Hyderabad.
ii. The book captures Sania’s journey of becoming World’s No.1 player in women’s doubles and the difficulties and challenges faced by her in making her dream come true.
iii. The book Published by Harpercollins, is made available on stands in all major bookstores across the country. In the launching ceremony the star praised Sania’s determination and hard work.