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Assam enacts Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill 2017
On 7th September 2017, Assam passed the Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2017, regarding lay off of employees, in Guwahati.
Industrial Disputes Assam Amendment Bill, 2017:
i.The law enables employers to lay off up to 300 employees without prior permission from the government.
ii.The employee count has been increased from 100 to 300.
iii.The law is said to increase the ease of doing business. As, employers are hesitant to recruit more number of employees because when the employee count increases more than 100, there would be problems during lay off.
iv.The Government has decided to increase the compensation of a labourer from the current 15 days salary to up to 60 days salary.
MoS Jitendra Singh to inaugurate North East Calling festival in New Delhi
Minister of State in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the “North East Calling” festival in New Delhi on 9th of Sept. 2017.
i.The two-day event is being organised by the Ministry of DoNER under its Destination North East series for this year.
ii.The purpose of the event is to promote the art, culture, heritage, cuisine, handicrafts, business and tourism of North East India.
iii.Dr Jitendra Singh has also launched ‘North East Venture Fund’, which is a joint initiative of Ministry of DoNER and North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd.
iv.The objective of the fund is to promote entrepreneurship and Start up in the North Eastern Region.
v.It is the first dedicated Venture Fund for the region with a cost of Rs 100 crores.
vi.The Minister also launched North East Tourism Development Council with objective to promote sustainable tourism in North East India.
vii.The entry to this two-day event, being held at India Gate lawns from 11.00 AM to 10.00 PM, for the general public is free.
viii.The Closing Ceremony of the event will be held on 10th of Sept. 2017.
ix.The Cabinet Secretary Shri P K Sinha will be the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony.
West Bengal leads in new tax registration under GST regime
According to the reports, the national average is 23%; Bengal leads the pack with as high as 77% in new tax registration under the GST regime in India.
i.As per the reports, about 245,000 people in the state are tax payers while the number in the country stands at around 8 million.
ii.States such as Gujarat and Maharashtra are behind West Bengal in GST registration.
iii.The figures were disclosed by Mr Arvind Singh, the new principal commissioner of GST & CX, eastern region.
iv.The figures were disclosed at a session titled “Democratisation of Services” on the second of the two-day ICT East organized by CII.
About West Bengal
Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi
CM: Mamata Banerjee
Government to launch ‘School Chalo Abhiyan’ scheme to enroll 80 lakh kids
On 8th September 2017, Union Human Resource Development Minister Mr.Prakash Javadekar announced that Government would implement ‘School Chalo Abhiyan’ scheme in 2018, in New Delhi.
School Chalo Abhiyan:
- The ‘School Chalo Abhiyan’ scheme was announced during a seminar on Literacy Day.
- This scheme has been introduced in order to enroll students who have dropped out from school.
- The scheme aims to enroll 70 to 80 lakh students around the country.
- If the scheme succeeds it would gain India 100 % literacy status. India has already seen a good development in the field of literacy. Since Independence, literacy rate has increased from 18 % to 81%.
- Many states have already taken the initiative.
About Ministry of Human Resource Development:
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Minister – Mr.Prakash Javadekar
- Deputy Ministers (Ministers of State) – Mr.Upendra Kushwaha, Mr.Mahendra Nath Pandey
Centre allots Rs.60,000 crore to Interlink Rivers in Maharashtra
On 9th September 2017, Union Water Resources Minister Mr.Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr.Devendra Fadnavis announced a project to link rivers in Maharashtra, in Mumbai.
The Interlinking of rivers:
- Two major river linking projects in Maharashtra – Par-Tapi-Narmada and Damanganga-Pinjal worth Rs.20,000 crore are about to start.
- Central Government is to allocate funds of Rs.60,000 crore altogether for all the river linking projects in Maharashtra for the next two years under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
- The project would start in the next three months and endwithin two years.
- Mr.Fadnavis has proposed four more river interlinking projects in Maharashtra worth Rs.10,000 crore.
The four projects are as follows:
– interlinking of Damanganga-Godavari
– interlinking of Damanganga-Vaitarna-Godavari
– interlinking of Par-Godavari
– interlinking of Nar-Par-Girna
- These river linking projects would help to tackle the water scarcity in Marathwada and Northern Maharashtra.
- Mr.Gadkari said that the total irrigated land in the state is 22 % and he and the Chief Minister would ensure that it crosses 40 %.
- Capital – Mumbai
- Chief Minister – Mr.Devendra Fadnavis
- Governor- Mr.C.Vidyasagar Rao
- Official language – Marathi
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharam flags off INSV Tarini at INS Mandovi
The Indian Navy’s woman team has embarked on a circumnavigation of the globe, with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 10th of Sept. 2017.
i.The Indian Navy calls it a “historic” day for the country.
ii.Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba were also present on the occasion.
iii.The minister flagged off the first such expedition by the Indian Navy, ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’, at a ceremony at the INS Mandovi naval training base, Panaji Goa.
iv.The six-member women crew will circumnavigate the globe on an India-built sail boat, INSV Tarini, which is being captained by Lt Commander Vartika Joshi.
v.The circumnavigation is to be covered in about 165 days at sea. The first stop would be in Free-Mantle in Australia, New Zealand and then to Falklands before reaching their last stop in Cape Town in South Africa.
SIM cards not linked to Aadhaar to be deactivated after Feb 2018
The Centre has issued a notice, stating that all the SIM cards have to be linked to Aadhaar before February 2018 to avoid deactivation of the phone numbers.
i.It is being done to prevent criminals, fraudsters, and terrorists from using SIMs in the name of ordinary citizens.
ii.The Centre has also directed the telecom companies to inform their subscribers about the linking of cell phones to Aadhaar through emails, text messages or advertisements.
iii.As per the news agency IANS that linking of Aadhaar and mobile is being done as per the orders of the Supreme Court passed in February 2017 in the Lokniti foundation case.
iv.All SIM cards have to be verified with Aadhaar within a year from the date of judgement.
v.A bench comprising of former Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana said the verification of existing pre-paid mobile users, running into crores, be done within one year.
vi.According to the sources biometrics cannot be stored by the mobile operators nor do they have access to any of the other personal data.
Jordan launches project to grow crops from seawater
On 8th September 2017, Jordan launched a project to grow crops from seawater, in Aqaba, port city of Jordan.
About the Project:
- Jordan’s King Mr.Abdullah II and Norway’s Crown Prince Mr.Haakon inaugurated the project.
- They have contributed a major amount of $3.7 million to the project.
- The project uses salt water from the sea to cool greenhouse gases. Then a solar-powered plant desalinates the water for irrigation.
- Inside the greenhouse, pesticide-free vegetables are grown.
- This facility would produce 130 tons of vegetables a year and 10,000 liters of freshwater a day.
- This facility is a part of Sahara Forest Project (SFP).SFP is supported by Norway and the European Union.
- Jordan was selected by SFP, because it has the required amount of sunlight and seawater.
- Capital – Amman
- King – Mr.Abdullah II
- Prime Minister – Hani Al Mulki
- Currency – Jordanian Dinar
- Official language – Arabic
Banking & Finance
PACL, 4 directors fined Rs 2423 crore, highest ever Sebi penalty on a defaulter
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had imposed Rs 2,423 crore fine on PACL Ltd and its four directors for illegal fund mobilisation through various schemes.
i.PACL group, which had collected money in the name of real estate projects among other schemes, was asked by SEBI nearly three years ago to refund Rs. 49,100 crore to the investors.
ii.According to the SEBI Rs 49,100 crore was mobilised by PACL over 15 years through unregistered collective investment schemes in violation of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, and SEBI (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations, 1992.
iii.The regulator has passed a fresh order to impose a monetary penalty for violation of SEBI’s Prevention of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices Regulations.
iv.This is the highest penalty ever imposed by SEBI on any alleged capital market defaulter ever.
v.The penalty should be remitted within 45 days of receipt of this order jointly and severally by PACL and its four Directors.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India.
Formed: 12th April 1992
HQ: Mumbai Maharashtra
Chairman: Ajay Tyagi
Exide Life Insurance partners with PMC Bank to offer protection, savings products
Exide Life Insurance has announced a partnership with Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC Bank) to offer its protection and savings products to the existing customers.
i.Exide Life Insurance works with around 50 banks.
ii.PMC Bank is a multi-State scheduled urban co-operative bank with 127 branches spread across Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
ICICI Lombard, SBI life Insurance gets SEBI approval for IPO
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company and SBI Life Insurance gets SEBI approval for Initial Public Offering.
About SBI Life Insurance
i.SBI Life Insurance has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India for an IPO of up to Rs 8,400 crore ($1.3 billion), with launch targeted for the September 20-22 period.
ii.The IPO will involve 120 million secondary shares, or 12% of the insurer’s equity capital.
iii.State Bank of India, which currently owns 70.1% of the insurer, will sell 80 million shares and BNP Paribas Cardif, holder of a 26% stake, will sell 40 million.
About ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company
i.ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company has got approval from capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s which could be the first by a general insurer in the country.
ii.ICICI Lombard is a joint venture between ICICI Bank and Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.
iii.According to market sources, the IPO could be worth about Rs 6,000 crore.
IRDAI allows one-time password for opening online insurance account
On 10th September 2017, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) announced usage of OTP (One Time Password) for opening e-Insurance Account (eIA) as an alternative to electronic signature, in New Delhi.
About the one-time password facility:
i.IRDAI said that in order to facilitate the opening of e-Insurance Account (eIA) through online or electronic means, the authority has permitted validation by One Time Password (OTP).
ii. Now, e-signature of the e- insurance account (eIA) holder on the application form for opening the account is considered as a valid authentication.
iii.Also IRDAI has permitted the e-KYC (Know Your Customer)facility offered by UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) which provides unique Aadhaar numbers.
Awards & Recognition
Tahir Mahmood bags N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award
Tahir Mahmood has received the prestigious Prof N R Madhava Menon Best Law Teacher Award as part of the Law Teachers’ Day celebrations.
i.The function was organised by the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) and Menon Institute of Legal Advocacy Training (MILAT).
ii.Prof N R Madhava Menon and SILF President Lalit Bhasin has given the awards to the recipients.
iii.Among the institutions, Mar Gregorios College of Law in Thiruvananthapuram had bagged this year’s SILF-MILAT Institutional Excellence Award.
iv.The SILF-MILAT South Asian Jurist Award had given to former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Justice Mohan Peiris, and Prof Tara Prasad Sapkota, the dean of faculty of Law at Tribhuvan University of Nepal.
v.Prof V C Vivekanandan has received the SILF-MILAT Legal Education Innovation Award.
vi.Justice A B Rohatgi Jurist Award was given to former Secretary General of the 15th Lok Sabha, T K Viswanathan.
Science & Technology
DRDO successfully flight tested Anti Tank Guided Missile – NAG
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight tested India’s indigenously developed third generation Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) ‘Nag.
i.The missile was tested in a desert in the western sector of Rajasthan on 9th Sept. 2017.
ii.According to the reports, ATGM Nag successfully hit both targets under different ranges and conditions with very high accuracy as desired by the armed forces.
iii.Nag has been successfully flight tested twice by the DRDO against two different targets and the missile can hit a target up to 7 km.
iv.The complete functionality of Nag ATGM along with launcher system NAMICA has been established and marked the successful completion of development trials of Nag Missile.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Republic of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in New Delhi, India.
Secretary, Department of Defence R&D: Dr.S.Christopher
SpaceX launches US Air Force’s super-secret mini-shuttle
SpaceX has launched the US Air Force’s super-secret space shuttle announced on 7th Sept. 2017 & a technology tester capable of spending years in orbit.
i.According to a SpaceX launch controller The Falcon has safely landed.
ii.An unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
iii.It’s the fifth flight for one of these crewless mini shuttles, known as the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.
iv.This is the first time SpaceX has provided a lift for the experimental mini-shuttle.
v.The two Air Force space planes have already logged a combined 5 ½ years in orbit.
vi.It was SpaceX’s 16th successful return of a first-stage booster. Booster rockets are normally discarded at sea.
Elon Musk shows off SpaceX first full body spacesuit
On 8th September 2017, CEO of SpaceX Billionaire Elon Musk shared a picture of his space exploration startup SpaceX’s first full-body spacesuit on Instagram.
The SpaceX first full body spacesuit:
- The spacesuit is designed to protect astronauts when they are in the space capsule and while moving over to other vehicles like the International Space Station (ISS) under pressurised conditions.
- It is a pressure suit, to be worn by astronauts while riding inside the ‘Crew Dragon’ spacecraft.
- This would be used in case of emergency on the flight.
- If the spacecraft suddenly depressurizes, the suit will keep the astronauts alive until they reach a safe place.
- The suits are tested to double vacuum pressure.
- These suits were not designed for extra-vehicular activity (EVA) and vaccum exposure.
About Elon Musk:
- South African-born Canadian American business magnate, investor, engineer and inventor.
- CEO and CTO of SpaceX
- CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.
- CEO of Neuralink
- Chairman of SolarCity
- Co-chairman of OpenAI
Books & Authors
BCCI releases players handbook of ‘100 things every professional cricketer must know’
The BCCI player’s handbook is titled ‘100 things every professional cricketer must know’.
i.The handbook document will be the official handbook for all the cricketers registered with the BCCI.
ii.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issued players handbook that covers several issues from money managing to managing emotions.
iii.The book has been released by Committee of Administrators (CoA).
iv.The book titled ‘100 things every professional cricketer must know’ which is also in line with Lodha recommendations.
v.The handbook has been forwarded by former India captain and current India A coach Rahul Dravid.
vi.Thiscovers as many as 10 topics including handling pressure, having legal knowledge, dealing with media and knowledge of keeping fit and eating well.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the national governing body for cricket in India.
HQ: Wankhede Stadium
President: Vinod Rai
Chief Executive: Rahul Johri
Vice President: Rajeev Shukla
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Announces His First Book ‘Hit Refresh’
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has launched his first book named Hit Refresh. The book includes the inside story of the company’s continuing transformation, Nadella’s own personal journey, Vision for the coming wave of intelligent technologies.
i.The book goes on sale globally on 26th September and is available for pre-order.
ii.Satya Nadella will donate all proceeds from Hit Refresh to Microsoft Philanthropies.
iii.The book also includes a set of questions for anybody searching for improvement for themselves as leaders, for their institutions and for society.
Sandhu wins Malaysian squash meet to make it 21st consecutive international victory this year
Harinder Pal Sandhu has won the Malaysian Squash Tour. This is his 21st consecutive international match to win in a row.
i.He beat Malaysia’s Mohammed Syafiq Kamal to win the final match.
ii.The tournament was held in in Kuala Lumpur.
India wins 2nd SABA U-16 Championship
On 9th September 2017, India won the Second South Asian Basketball, SABA, Under – 16 Championship, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
About SABA U-16 Championship:
- The championship was held at Dashrath Rangshala Stadium, in Kathmandu.
- India won all its 4 matches and obtained a total of 8 points.
- In its last match India defeated Bhutan by 131 – 50 points.
- India was followed by Bangladesh in the 2ndposition and Nepal in the 3rd.
- The championship followed a round robin league format.
- India has now qualified for the 2017 International Basketball Federation, FIBA, Under-16 Asian Championship to be played in Malaysia, in 2017.
- Capital – Kathmandu
- Currency – Nepalese rupee
- President – Ms.Bidhya Devi Bhandari
- Prime Minister – Mr.Sher Bahadur Deuba
- Official language – Nepali
World Suicide Prevention Day 2017
On 10th September 2017, World Suicide Prevention Day is observed throughout the world.
About the Suicide Prevention Day:
- This year’s theme is ‘Take a minute, change a life.’
- This is the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day.
- The day was first observed in 2003, as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization.
- Every year, more than 8,00,000 people die by suicide and 65,000 people make a suicide attempt.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play an important role in promoting this day.
- The following activities are carried out on the World Suicide Prevention Day:
– Launch of new government initiatives to prevent suicide
– Conferences, educational seminars and public lectures regarding suicide prevention
– Media programs that promote suicide prevention
– Memorial services or candlelight ceremonies to remember those who died by suicide.
– Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs and exhibitions
– Launches of publications about suicide awareness and prevention
– Training courses about suicide and depression awareness
- World Health Organisation
- Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
- Director General – Mr.Tedros Adhanom
Himalaya Day being observed across Uttarakhand on September 9
Himalayan Day will be observed across the country on 9th September and the main programme will be held in Dehradun.
i.Himalayan Day would be observed at 400 venues across the country to highlight its importance.
ii.The theme for this year is ‘Contribution of Himalayas and Our Responsibility’.
iii.The mission would take out a rally in Dehradun to mark the day and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will be the chief guest at the workshop.
iv.The rally would start from Gandhi Park and culminate at Dunga House.
v.A workshop would also be organised to deliberate on issues pertaining to the Himalayas.
vi.It has been celebrated to address environmental and social problems in the Himalayas region.
Governor: Krishan Kant Paul
CM: Trivendra Singh Rawat