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3,000 Additional Atal Tinkering Labs each given a grant of Rs20 lakh announced by the NITI Aayog totaling the amount to 5441 under Atal Innovation Mission.
i. On June 12, 2018, NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has selected 3,000 additional schools for the establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), bringing the total number of ATL schools to 5,441.
ii. ATLs will soon be established in every district of India.
iii. The selected schools shall receive a grant of Rs 20 lakh spread over the next five years to establish Atal Tinkering Labs for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among secondary school children across India………………………………………………………….Click here to Read more
Ten new Swachh Iconic Places of 2018 launched under Phase III of Swachh Iconic places under Swachh Bharat Mission in Uttarakhand: Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
i. On June 12, 2018, 10 new places have been inducted in the Phase III of Swachh Iconic Places under Swachh Bharat Mission and the SIP mission was launched at Mana village which is situated close to the Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand.
ii. The project is being coordinated by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation with the support of State governments and local administration.
iii. The 10 new places are : RaghavendraSwamy Temple (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh); Hazardwari Palace (Murshidabad, West Bengal); Brahma Sarovar Temple (Kurukshetra, Haryana); VidurKuti (Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh); Mana village (Chamoli, Uttarakhand); Pangong Lake (Leh-Ladakh, J&K); Nagvasuki Temple (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh); ImaKeithal/market (Imphal, Manipur); Sabarimala Temple (Kerala); and Kanvashram (Uttarakhand)……………………………………………………………………………Click here to Read more
Union Home Minister exhorts BPR&D to train policemen in soft skills
On 12th June 2018, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urged the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) to work on providing training in soft skills to all the policemen in India.
Union Home Minister exhorts BPR&D to train policemen in soft skills:
i. He also asked to identify exceptional police officials at district level who can be role models for others.
ii. He also stressed on imparting training skills to prevent cyber-crimes and to tackle the changing crime scenario.
iii. A presentation was done by Dr. A.P. Maheshwari, Director General, BPR&D on the ongoing activities and future projects of BPR&D, on the occasion.
iv. Rajnath Singh reviewed the progress of development of Central Detective Training Institutes (CDTI) at Jaipur and Chandigarh.
v. It has been decided to set up the Centre for Correctional Administration at the Central Academy for Police Training (CAPT) at Bhopal. Separate Centres for training in Prosecution and Traffic Technologies will also be established at CAPT, Bhopal.
vi. He praised BPR&D for setting up a web-portal named e-USTAAD in which all training manuals, presentations and course material are available for users. A mobile app related to this is also being developed.
About Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D):
♦ Director General – Dr. A.P. Maheshwari
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
Ministry of Finance, RIS and FICCI organised Thematic Seminar on ‘Private Sector Participation and Innovation in Resource Mobilization’ for promoting Private Participation in Infrastructure building
On June 12, 2018, the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) is hosting one day thematic Seminar on “Private Sector Participation and Innovation in Resource Mobilisation” in Mumbai.
This is a lead up to 3rd AIIB.
To establish several regulatory, financial and operational structures to ensure the fast advancement of the infrastructure segment.
i. It aims to address the critical dimensions of Infrastructure Projects Funding and underline the need for financial support from private sector players.
ii. India’s Infrastructure Sector has received an investment worth $1 trillion in the period from 2007 to 2017.
iii. India aims to raise the investment in this sector to $200 billion every year from the present level of $110bn per annum.
iv. Schemes such as the Brownfield Asset Mobilization for Infra Investments (BAMII), Credit Enhancement Fund for raising Bond Ratings issued by infra companies and the New Credit Rating scale for infrastructure projects creates opportunities have been launched to encourage private sector participation.
v. Government of India has financed various projects under National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF),Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) .
vi. The Global Infrastructure Hub Report states that, investment worth $97trillion is needed in the global infrastructure sector of which 50% is required by Asia. India needs around $4.5 Trillion investments in the Infrastructure sector by 2040.
vii. Various risks faced by a project are Regulatory Risks, Political risk, Market risk, Sponsoring risk and Judicial risk form the basis for risk management and measures have to be taken.
Union Steel Minister dedicates to nation rebuilt Blast Furnace-1 of Rourkela Steel Plant named ‘Parvati’ and founded Burns and Plastic Surgery department in Rourkela, Odisha.
On June 12,2018, The Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh dedicated the rebuilt Blast Furnace-1 ‘Parvati’ of SAIL, Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) to the Nation.
Parvati is the first Blast Furnace of SAIL that was dedicated to the nation on 3rd February 1959 by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
i. The annual production capacity, of the furnace has increased from 0.438 Million tonnes (MT) to 1.015 MT.
ii. The Steel Minister also laid the foundation stone of the Burns and Plastic Surgery Department (the only department of the region ) of Super Specialty block at Ispat General Hospital.
iii. This will fulfil the requirements of not only Rourkela but also of the people of neighboring districts and states.
iv. He also visited the state-of-the-art New Plate Mill of RSP and planted saplings in the Pragati Udyan situated in front of the Mill.
About Steel Authority of India(SAIL):
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ CEO: Prakash Kumar Singh.
♦ Founded in 1954.
Government sets up Technical Committee headed by T.C.A. Anant to bring transparency in jobs data
On 11th June 2018, the Labour ministry said that, the union government has set up a Technical Committee headed by T.C.A. Anant, former chief statistician of India, to bring transparency in the jobs data calculation and presentation.
Panel formed to bring transparency in jobs data:
i. Labour bureau carries out two major surveys on employment scenario: Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey (AEUS) and Quarterly Employment Survey.
ii. The Annual Employment Unemployment Survey was replaced by Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). PLFS is performed by ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI).
iii. PLFS will have annual data on employment-unemployment on rural sector and quarterly data on employment-unemployment on urban sector based on larger sample size.
iv. So this will be comparable with the corresponding AEUS data set. Also, the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has started releasing monthly payroll data.
v. The Government has constituted a Technical Committee to look into the above matters. Chairman of the committee is T.C.A Anant. The committee has been asked to submit its report as early as possible.
About Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO):
♦ Central Provident Fund Commissioner – Dr. V. P. Joy
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
Haryana raises age limit for entry in government service to 42 years
On 12th June 2018, the Haryana government increased the upper age limit to enter into government service from 40 to 42 years.
Haryana raises age limit for entry in government service to 42 years:
i. All departments have been informed to incorporate the provisions related to increasing the upper age limit to enter into the government service in their service rules, at their own level.
ii. The departments do not need to obtain the approval of council of ministers, general administration, Finance Department and Haryana Public Service Commission or Haryana Staff Selection Commission, according to a decision taken by the council of ministers on 30th May 2018.
iii. A circular regarding this has been sent to all administrative secretaries, heads of departments, commissioners of Ambala, Hisar, Rohtak and Gurgaon divisions, all chief administrators and managing directors of all boards, corporations and public sector undertakings, deputy commissioners, sub-divisional officers (Civil) and registrars of all the universities.
About Haryana Public Service Commission:
♦ Chairman – Manbir Singh Bhadana
♦ Location – Panchkula, Haryana
Bihar CM inaugurates, lays foundation stones for schemes worth Rs 875 crore
On 12th June 2018, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated or laid foundation stones for 122 schemes, worth Rs 875 crore, at an event to commemorate the 43rd establishment day of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd.
Inauguration of 122 schemes:
i. Nitish Kumar praised the performance of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd in the recent years.
ii. It has earned a net profit of Rs 50 crore in 2017-18. Its yearly turnover has increased to over Rs 1600 crore.
iii. He said that, the company has contributed a lot to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. It has also spent about Rs 70 crore for corporate social responsibility.
iv. He said that, work would be started soon, to make it possible that Patna, the state capital could be reached, from all district headquarters, within five hours. This will involve construction of lots of bridges.
About Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd:
♦ Chairman – Jitendra Srivastava
♦ Location – Patna, Bihar
Haryana CM approves e-auction for allotting petrol pumps, CNG sites
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved introduction of e-auction with an amendment in the policy for allotment of petrol pumps, CNG (Compressed natural gas) or PNG (Piped Natural Gas) sites to oil companies in the urban estates of Haryana Shehari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP).
Haryana CM approves e-auction for allotting petrol pumps, CNG sites:
i. This decision was taken by a committee formed under the chairmanship of the chief administrator, HSVP.
ii. The committee has decided that in order to bring transparency in the allotment process, e-auction will be adopted. Only Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and CGD (City Gas Distribution) Companies will be allowed to participate in it.
iii.The sites will be on leasehold basis and designated as filling-cum-charging stations.
iv. It can be utilised by the allottee for CNG or petrol pump and diesel pump or allied activities like battery-charging station for future e-vehicles etc.
v. It is said that, with the introduction of e-auction, the existing system of branding the site as petrol or diesel pump will be discontinued.
About Haryana Shehari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP):
♦ Chairman – Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Formed – 1977
KVIC created a world record for distributing maximum number of bee-boxes (2330 bee-boxes) at Kupwara in Kashmir
KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission) has made a world record of distributing maximum number of bee-boxes in one day.
World record of distributing maximum number of bee-boxes in one day:
i. This record was made by the KVIC in the Zangalee Army area at Kupwara in Kashmir. KVIC has broken its previous record of distributing 1000 bee boxes in Kaziranga forest area among the Mishing tribe on World Honey Bee Day (21 May 2018).
ii. 2330 bee-boxes were distributed to 233 beneficiaries in the Zangalee Army area. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta, said that KVIC’s programmes would create jobs in the valley.
iii. KVIC made an action plan called ‘Honey Mission’ with an aim to distribute 1.3 lakh bee-boxes before November 2018 all over India.
iv. Till now 27,000 bee-boxes have been distributed. KVIC is the nodal agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).
v. As per the programme, loans will be offered to set up processing, bottling, packaging and labelling units for honey.
vi. This event in Kupwara was held in collaboration with the Indian Army under its Sadbhawna programme to develop peace and harmony in the valley.
vii. Indian Army helped in offering training. It also offered 10 % finance for setting up of the apiaries (a place where bees are kept). This will help the beneficiaries to earn a livelihood.
♦ Chairman – Vinai Kumar Saxena
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
Delhi to get India’s first-ever national police museum in Chanakyapuri area, New Delhi
On June 10,2018, the central government has decided to establish India’s first ever National Police Museum in Lutyens’ Delhi.
i. It will be a unique facility showcasing history, artifacts, uniforms and gear of central and state police forces.
ii. It will come up as an underground facility in the premises of the national police memorialin Chanakyapuri area.
iii. It is expected to be inaugurated in October 21 in honor of ‘Police commemoration Day’.
iv. This project is headed by Intelligence Bureau.
v. Artifacts of the central armed police forces (CAPFs), the central police organisations and the state police forces will be displayed.
vi. The artifacts would include brass insignia, ceremonial and operational head gears and uniforms, batons, belts, distinctive photographs of dog squads, mounted columns and old copies of the Indian Police Act.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Motto: Always alert.
♦ Founded in 1887.
The Assam government plans to introduce ‘Sanskar’ an an awareness programme against superstitions
On June 12, 2018, The Assam government announced the launch of an awareness campaign called ‘Sanskar’.
i. In the wake of incidents triggered by superstitions the government has decided to take steps to launch this campaign in all development blocks and panchayats.
ii. This was taken by high level meeting chaired by the chief minister of Assam Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal.
iii. Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC) would be the nodal agency and the programme and would involve all deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and all government departments concerned in a district.
iv. Local bodies, womens’ organisations, voluntary organizations, media persons, leading citizens, academicians, MPs and MLAs are also included.
v. Social activist Birubala Rabha, who has been tirelessly fighting against witch-hunting, will also be involved .
About Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC):
The Assam Science Technology & Environment Council (ASTEC) was constituted in 1986-87 as an autonomous Council of the Department of Science Technology & Environment, Govt. of Assam for implementation of some of the major programmes in the sectors of science &technology, remote sensing, energy (non-conventional & renewable sources) and environment as the institutional organization of the Department.
Nepal Cabinet approves projects including repair of two ‘Friendship Bridges’ that link Nepal and China
On 11th June 2018, the Nepal cabinet approved the Chinese government’s proposal to repair two ‘Friendship Bridges’ that link Nepal and China, and few others.
i. The bridges were damaged in 2015 due to earthquakes. Nepal government spokesperson Gokul Baskota, said that, China will fund the border bridges project.
ii. It will also offer technical support to the bridges in Tatopani and Rasuwa districts.
iii. The Nepal Government also approved two proposals related to Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s upcoming visit to China that will be on 19th June 2018.
iv. Nepal cabinet has also approved the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation to sign projects that will be discussed during Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to China.
v.During the visit, a ‘Nepal-China Cooperation on Energy Sector’ would be signed. Hydroelectricity and cross-border transmission lines would be included in the proposals.
vi. Also, a dry port in Tatopani district that was damaged due to earthquakes and was dysfunctional since 2015 is being repaired by a Chinese company. An agreement regarding this was signed in May 2018 by the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board.
vii. The construction will involve a cost of RMB 147 million. It would be completed in April 2019. The Kodari highway would also be upgraded by the Chinese.
Tag lines of some banks:
♦ Oriental Bank of Commerce – Where every individual is committed
♦ Punjab National Bank – The Name you can Bank Upon
♦ Punjab & Sind Bank – Where Service Is A Way Of Life
India to bring together a group of 8-10 countries in WTO to create a conducive atmosphere in WTO
India is working to bring together a group of 8-10 member countries of the WTO to develop an agenda to create a conducive atmosphere in Geneva for smooth functioning of WTO (World Trade Organisation).
Group of 8-10 member countries of the WTO:
i. This will be an informal group within the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It might include countries like Brazil, China, South Africa, China, Indonesia and Columbia.
ii. The main focus is to develop a proper structured agenda that will be acceptable to all countries to reduce the tension prevailing among the WTO member countries.
iii.The commerce ministry will discuss the issue internally and will work on the structure.
iv. This move will be beneficial since trade tensions have heightened after the US levied high customs duties on some steel and aluminum products.
v. If trade wars begin, countries will restrict imports through tariff and non-tax related barriers. Increase in customs duties on a product will make that product less competitive in the importing country.
vi. Talks held in Argentina in December 2017 collapsed. Following this, India organised a mini-ministerial meeting of 45 WTO members in New Delhi on March 19-20, 2018.
vii. The talks at the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference collapsed after the US went back on its commitment to develop a permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue.
About World Trade Organisation (WTO):
♦ Director-General – Roberto Azevêdo
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
India to host the first military exercise of the 7 nation BIMSTEC group focusing on counter-terrorism in September 2018 in Pune.
On June 12, 2018, It was announced that the first military exercise of the (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) BIMSTEC group would be held in Pune, India in the second week of September 2018.
i. This exercise will focus on the counter-terrorism measures and to promote strategic alignment.
ii. The army officers of all the 7 BIMSTEC nations would participate.
iii. The theme would be counter terrorism in semi urban and cordon and search and each side would bring 30 soldiers.
iv. The conclave of Army chiefs would be held in the last two days of the exercise where they would debate on the measures and strategies of counter terrorism.
v. In 2017 , a disaster management exercise was held by the BIMSTEC nations.
It was founded in 2007 by 7 south Asian nations namely : India, Bangaldesh , Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The main objective of BIMSTEC is technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and southeast Asian countries along the coast of the bay of Bengal. Commerce, investment, technology, tourism, human resource development, agriculture, fisheries, transport and communication, textiles, leather etc. have been included in it.
Financial aid of 99.21 million Nepalese rupees given for final phase of Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation Project
On June 12,2018, India gave a financial assistance of 99.21 million Nepalese rupees (Rs.61.93 million) to Nepal for the final step of Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation Project.
i. This is for the construction of 2700 shallow tube well irrigation systems in 12 districts of Nepal’s Terai region. This would help in promoting agricultural productivity.
ii. This was handed to Nepal’s Energy Secretary Sanjay Sharma by India’s ambassador to Nepal Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri.
iii. The tube wells would be installed in Saptari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupendehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts.
iv. Indian has so far released a total of 227.6 million Nepalese rupees to Kathmandu for implementing the project.
v. This project will give all season irrigation facility to 8115 hectares for cultivation of wheat, rice, seasonal fruits, vegetables and other crops.
About Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation Project:
The project was launched in 2017. India would assist Nepal in installing Shallow tube wells for all weather irrigation for major crops for a total of 8115 hectares of cultivable land.
♦ Military exercise between Nepal and India is called ‘SURYA KIRAN’.
♦ Prime Minister: Khadga Prasad Oli.
♦ Capital: Kathmandu.
♦ Currency: Nepalese Rupee.
2018 Global Environment Performance Index (EPI) rankings; India at the bottom of EPI
India has ranked 177 out of 180 countries in the Global Environment Performance Index (EPI) rankings, as per the State of India’s Environment (SoE) 2018 in Figures that has been released recently.
India at the bottom of EPI:
i. In 2016, India ranked 141 out of 180 countries. The SoE in Figures is an annual compendium of environmental statistics prepared by Down To Earth magazine.
ii.Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps to publish it. State of India’s Environment 2018 in Figures is a quantified statement on issues and concerns of environment and development.
iii. As per SoE in Figures 2018:
The state of our air:
- India has scored 5.75 out of 100 in air quality. Analysis of the winter (November and December 2017) and summer (April-May 27, 2018) air quality levels of 10 state capital cities infer that they are in the risk of a multi-pollutant crisis.
- They are also facing a severe health challenge. In summer Delhi had 65 per cent days when poor and very poor air quality was recorded. In winters it increased to 85 %.
- Only on 1 per cent of the monitored days in summer the air quality was satisfactory in Delhi.
- Lucknow was very worse in the winter. Very poor air quality was recorded on more than 70 per cent of the monitored days.
- Severe levels of air pollution was recorded on 24 per cent of the days. Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru and Chennai experienced comparatively better air quality.
The state of our water:
- In 18 Indian states and UTs, more than 82 per cent rural households are without a tapped connection. 70,736 rural habitats with a combined population of 47.4 million live on contaminated groundwater.
The state of our sanitation:
- Through Swachh Bharat scheme, 72.1 million individual household toilets have been constructed. But funds allocated for spreading awareness on this to rural people remains unused.
- In urban areas nearly one million households are waiting for more than six months for toilets to be constructed.
The state of our energy:
- The Central government’s target of installing 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy by 2022, is not seeing expected progress, with only 9 per cent of the roof-top solar target achieved so far.
- LPG distribution has taken place significantly in only 15 states. Even in those places majority of rural people rely on firewood for cooking.
The state of our forests:
- Major increase in forest cover, has taken place in the open forest category that includes commercial plantations which is not a good sign.
- There is a 146 per cent increase in forestland diversion for non-forest activities in the last one year with maximum diversions recorded in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha. This totally accounts for 54 % of the total diverted area.
- Forest fires have increased by 125 per cent in just two years (2015-2017).
The SoE on environmental crimes:
- In 2016, the number of registered environment-related crimes was 4,732. 1,413 cases were pending police investigation. Cases pending in the courts were 21,145.
- This accounted for 86 per cent of the total environment-related offences in India. The number of cases disposed per day is 9.3 on an average, as per 2016 data.
- If this slow speed continues, it will take six years for the court to finish the existing backlog.
- 15 states witnessed an increase in environmental crimes between 2015 and 2016. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Assam are some of the states that witnessed the highest number of registered environmental crimes.
About Centre for Science and Environment (CSE):
♦ Director General – Sunita Narain
♦ Location – New Delhi
BANKING & FINANCE
Mobile banking rank by SBI’s Annual Report: Paytm tops by Volume and Axis Bank tops by value
On June 12, 2018, According to SBI’s annual report for 2017-18, Axis bank has the highest value share of mobile banking transactions by 17.2% .
i. Paytm tops the chart by volumes with 22% and by value it is 0.25%.
ii. ICICI has 17.1% share by value and 9.7% by volume.
iii. SBI has 19.5% by volume in January 2018 compared to 25% at the end of March 2019.
iv. By value share SBI has 16.8% from 44.4% in 2017.
v. Mobile-banking usage itself has seen a steep jump, with volumes soaring a steep 91 per cent to 1,871 million in FY18 from 977 million in FY17.
♦ Founded: 2010.
♦ Founder :Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
♦ CEO: Shikha Sharma.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Jane Fonda to receive Lumiere Award
Jane Fonda, an American activist, will be awarded the Lumiere Award for this year in Lyon, France.
Jane Fonda to receive Lumiere Award:
i. Jane Fonda has won Oscar award. She has also won the Academy Award twice, BAFTA Award twice and Golden Globe Award four times.
ii. The Lumiere Festival is the largest international festival of classic cinema. It will be held from 13th October to 21st October 2018.
iii. Festival director Thierry Fremaux will present the award to Jane Fonda.
Some important temples in India:
♦ Badrinath Temple – Badrinath, Uttarakhand
♦ Mahakaleshwar Temple – Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
♦ Amarnath Temple – Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir
World Day Against Child Labour – 12 June
On 12th June 2018, World Day Against Child Labour was observed all over the world.
World Day Against Child Labour:
i. In 2002, the International Labour Organization (ILO) declared 12 June as the World Day Against Child Labour.
ii. This day was introduced to focus on the extent of child labour worldwide and the efforts required to eliminate it.
iii. This day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, and people from various parts of the world to work towards the abolition of child labour.
iv. The theme for World Day against Child Labour 2018 is: ‘Generation Safe & Healthy’.
About International Labour Organization (ILO):
♦ Formed – 1919
♦ Purpose – sets labour standards, develops policies and devises programmes promoting decent work for all women and men