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The Code on Wages Bill 2017
As part of labour law reforms, the Government has undertaken the exercise of rationalisation of the 38 Labour Acts by framing 4 labour codes viz Code on Wages, Code on Industrial Relations, Code on Social Security and Code on occupational safety, health and working conditions.
On 10th August 2017, The Code on Wages Bill 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister of State for Labour and Employment.
It subsumes 4 existing Laws,
- The Minimum Wages Act, 1948;
- The Payment of Wages Act, 1936;
- The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and
- The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
After the enactment of the Code on Wages, all these four Acts will get repealed. The Codification of the Labour Laws will remove the multiplicity of definitions and authorities leading to ease of compliance without compromising wage security and social security to the workers
- Minimum wages to one and all and timely payment of wages to all employees
- National Minimum Wage for different geographical areas
- Payment of wages through cheque or digital/ electronic mode
- Provision of compounding of offences
- No amount fixed as minimum wage
- Consultative mechanism
- Clarification on methodology for calculating minimum wages.…Click here to view complete details
India and Sri Lanka begin Joint Naval Exercise SLINEX 2017 at Visakhapatnam
On 7th September 2017, the seventh edition of India-Sri Lanka joint maritime naval exercise SLINEX 2017 started near Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh in India on the Bay of Bengal. It will last till 14th September 2017.
- SLINEX – Sri Lanka India Naval Exercise are a series of naval exercises between the Indian Navy and the Sri Lankan Navy.
- SLINEX series of biennial bilateral maritime exercises between India and Sri Lanka, started in 2005.
- Its mandate is to enable navies of both countries to rehearse and improve their own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in region.
- SLINEX 2017 focuses on fleet work, seamanship, communication, replenishment at sea, Visit Board Search and Seize (VBSS) operations and helicopter operations.
- Joint naval operations enable both Navies to rehearse and improve own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the region..…Click here to view complete details
Andhra CM Naidu announces new programme ‘Jala Siriki Haarat’ to offer prayers to water bodies
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has announced a new programme named ‘Jala Siriki Haarati’. It is a programme offering prayers to water bodies and to create awareness among the public regarding water preservation announced on 6th sept. 2017.
i.The programme will be held on September 6, 7 and 8 across the state.
ii.The programme is aimed at praying at all kinds of water bodies like rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, irrigation projects, water reservoirs, check dams etc.
iii.The Chief Minister also stated that 28 projects would be completed by next three months.
iv.He attended the ‘Krishna Haarati’ programme held at the Pavitra Sangam (meeting point of Rivers Godavari and Krishna) at Ibrahimpatnam.
v.The Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project had been completed through which diverting the Godavari water into River Krishna was possible.
About Andhra Pradesh National Park:
Sri Venkateswara NP
Rajiv Gandhi NP
Gujarat government signed MoU with Google for Digital Gujarat
The Gujarat government has signed a MoU with Google India for ‘Digital Gujarat’ movement under ‘Digital India’.
i.Under the MoU Google will train small and medium scale entrepreneurs the use of digital platform for business development under the ‘Digital Unlocked’ programme.
ii.The MoU was signed in presence of the chief minister, Gujarat’s chief secretary J N Singh, and Google India Public Policy Director Chetan Krishnaswamy.
iii.It will provide ‘cloud’ facility up to $20,000 to recognized startups.
iv.Google will also help to develop skills in the use of modern mobiles and web technology, train degree, diploma and science postgraduate students in ‘Google Android Fundamentals’ and ‘Mobile Development’.
Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. These include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.
Founded: 4th sept 1998
Founders: Larry Page and Sergey Brin
CEO: Sundar Pichai
NITI Aayog constitutes Expert Task Force on Employment & Exports under Dr.Rajiv Kumar
On 6th September 2017, an Expert Task Force was constituted with the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Dr.Rajiv Kumar, as its Chairperson to provide a major thrust to job creation by enhancing India’s exports.
Purpose of Expert Task Force’s creation:
- The Indian workforce has high aspirations but still majority of the workers are still employed in low-productivity, low-wage jobs in small, micro and own-account enterprises.
- An urgent and sustained expansion of the organized sector is essential to address India’s unemployment and under-employment issue.
- An important strategy is to enable a shift towards more labour-intensive goods and services that are destined for exports.
- Given the importance of exports in generating jobs, India needs to create an environment in which globally competitive exporters can emerge and flourish.
Steps outlined by the Expert Task Force:
The steps outlined by the taskforce to address this challenge of creating well-paid, formal sector jobs, include:
- Proposing a comprehensive plan of action to generate employment and alleviate under-employment in both goods and services sectors and low wages by boosting India’s exports in key labour-intensive industries
- Recommending sector-specific policy interventions in key employment sectors
- Recommending measures to enhance trade in services with high employment potential
- Identifying key macroeconomic factors constraining exports and suggesting methods to address these constraints
- Assessing the effectiveness of existing schemes to promote exports
- Addressing issues related to logistics, export credits and trade facilitation
- Suggesting ways to enhance the availability of data on trade such that it is reliable, globally comparable and timely, particularly with respect to trade in services.
The Expert Task Force will submit its report by November 2017.
Constitution of the Expert Task Force:
- Chairperson – Dr.Rajiv Kumar,Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog
- Covenor – Mr.Dhiraj Nayyar, Officer on Special Duty,NITI Aayog
Other members of the Task force include CEO of NITI Aayog, Secretary of Department of Commerce, Secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs, Secretary of Ministry of Textiles, leading economists and industry experts.
About NITI Aayog:
- National Institution for Transforming India
- Formed in 2015
- Chairperson – Mr.Narendra Modi
- CEO – Mr.Amitabh Kant
- Vice Chairman – Mr.Rajiv Kumar
Home ministry gives more finance powers to chiefs of CRPF, BSF, NIA
On 6th September 2017, Home Ministry announced that Chiefs of central armed police forces like Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force (BSF) and other central agencies have been empowered to spend up to Rs.15 crore for executing major projects and Rs.1 crore for minor works, including repairing of residential buildings.
Enhancement of financial powers by the Home Ministry:
- The home ministry in an order enhanced the financial powers of the directors general of CRPF, BSF, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), National Security Guard (NSG), Assam Rifles, National Investigation Agency (NIA) and director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) to execute major projects from to Rs.10 crore upto Rs.15 crore.
- The major projects include construction of buildings, purchase of vehicles etc. Similarly, the chiefs have also been authorised to spend up to Rs.1 crore for carrying out minor works like petty repairs and administrative expenditure. So far, they were allowed to spend up to Rs.50 lakh.
- The decision was taken by Union home secretary Mr.Rajiv Gauba to bring greater flexibility in operations, reduce delays and facilitate quick decision on matters involving financial expenditure, the official said.
- Earlier, the ministry gave financial powers to the joint secretaries to spend up to Rs.50 crore for executing works and purchasing land. Joint secretaries have also been allowed to make procurement through open or limited tender of up to Rs.20 crore and procurement through negotiated or single tender or proprietary contract of up to Rs.5 crore.
- Central Reserve Police Force
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Agency executive – Mr.Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar
- Border Security Force
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Agency executive – Mr.K.K.Sharma
- National Investigation Agency
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Agency Executive – Mr.Sharad Kumar
AP signs MoU for country’s 1st Hyperloop to connect Vijayawada and Amaravati
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) on 6th of Sept. 2017.
i.The pact has been signed to connect Vijayawada and Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh in Guntur district.
ii.The project will use a public-private partnership (PPP) model with funding primarily from private investors.
iii.The MoU will facilitate the development of HTT’s hyperloop transportation system in Andhra Pradesh.
iv.The proposed route for the hyperloop is between the city centres of Vijayawada and Amaravati. It will turn a trip of more than one hour into a 5-minute ride.
v.During the first phase of the project, HTT will conduct a six-month feasibility study commencing in October.
vi.After conducting the feasibility study, in the second phase of the project, the company will construct and build the first hyperloop in the country.
Visit of Prime Minister to Myanmar 2017
On 5th September 2017, Indian Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi arrived at Myanmar on a three-day visit on President Mr.Htin Kyaw’s invitation.
India signs 11 agreements with Myanmar:
On 6th September 2017, 11 MoUs were signed with Myanmar after Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Ms.Aung San Suu Kyi and President Mr.Htin Kyaw.
India to grant gratis visa to Myanmarese citizens:
On 6thSeptember 2017, Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi announced that India will grant gratis (no-cost) visa to Myanmarese citizens wanting to visit the country.
PM Modi visited Shwedagon Pagoda – Historic Monument:
On 7thSeptember 2017, Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi visited the 2,500-years-old Shwedagon pagoda, considered to be the pinnacle of Myanmar’s cultural heritage, and performed ‘puja’ at the Kalibari Temple in Yangon..…Click here to view complete details
Banking & Finance
International Finance Corporation invests $10 mn in Power2SME
A member of the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested $10 million as equity in e-commerce firm Power2SME announced on 5th sept 2017.
i.It will helps small and medium companies to buy raw materials at bulk prices and get working capital without collateral.
ii.The main aim is to improve access to finance for over one million SMEs in the next five years.
iii.Its sectors of focus include consumer internet, edutech, healthtech, cleantech, and business-to-business e-commerce.
iv.IFC will also help in improving its ability to provide working capital to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by adding more banks as partners and increasing the number of users on its platforms.
v.Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) accounts for 45% of the country’s industrial output and 40% of its exports.
vi.Investment in Power2SME will encourage greater venture capital interest in the SME sector in the country and support India’s vision to become a global manufacturing hub.
vii.Since 1956, IFC has invested in over 400 companies in India, providing $17 billion in financing to the private sector.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in developing countries.
The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, DC.
CEO: Philippe Le Houerou
IIM-Lucknow, Yes Bank tie up for climate Awareness
Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIM-L) and Yes Bank has tied up with the purpose of spreading climatic awareness announced on 5th of Sept. 2017.
i.The main aim of the collaboration will be to enhance the ‘Climate Literacy’ amongst people.
ii.IIM Lucknow also aims to achieve sustainable development with the cooperation of Yes Bank.
iii.Institute will be implemented Shared learning program to encourage climate awareness.
iv.The bank will also assist IIM Lucknow in updating the curriculum of its two-year programme.
v.The collaboration with Yes Bank will help the students to understand the viewpoint of corporates as well as address social and environmental issues.
vi.It will help in overcoming the current economic challenges.
About Yes Bank
CEO: Rana Kapoor
Yes Bank is the only Greenfield Bank licence awarded by the RBI in the last two decades.
Tagline: Experience our expertise
Appointments & Resigns
Parineeti becomes 1st Indian woman ambassador for Tourism Australia
Parineeti Chopra has appointed as the first Indian woman ambassador in ”Friends of Australia” (FOA) advocacy panel by Tourism Australia.
i.According to Tourism Australia (TA) statement she was presented the Friend of Australia (FOA) recognition by Australian Consul General Tony Huber for her contribution to promote Australia recently.
ii.She will be the first Indian woman ambassador to be a part of the FOA advocacy panel.
iii.In her new role she will be promoting Australia as a tourist destination.
iv.Chopra will be visiting Queensland and Northern Territory, exploring Australia’s aquatic and coastal experiences, rugged outback, unique wildlife and its incredible variety of world-class food and wine offering.
v.The FOA programme has been devised as a way for Tourisn Australia to encourage mutually beneficial and long-term ‘friendships’ with those they regard as unique, positive and influential story- tellers.
MakeMyTrip president Ashish Kashyap resigns
Online travel firm MakeMyTrip has announced the resignation of Co-Founder and President Ashish Kashyap.
i.His resignation will come into effect from September 30.
ii.As per the settlement agreement, Kashyap will be under non-solicitation and non-competition obligation for the next two years.
Viveck Goenka elected as new PTI Chairman, N. Ravi is Vice Chairman
Viveck Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director of the Express Group elected as a Chairman of Press Trust of India and N. Ravi, a former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu daily is elected as a Vice-Chairman.
i.Goenka succeeds Riyad Mathew, who is Senior Assistant Editor and a member of the Manorama management and Ravi succeeds Goenka as Vice Chairman.
ii.The election took place at a meeting of the Board of Directors following the Company s 69th Annual General Meeting on 7th of Sept. 2017.
iii.Goenka is an engineer by qualification and a publisher by profession. He runs one of the most widespread newspaper publishing groups in India, which includes The Indian Express, Financial Express, Marathi daily Loksatta, Hindi daily Jansatta and a host of online news websites.
iv.Goenka is also a director of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) besides being a member of the Advertising Association, India Chapter.
v.He also served as Chairman of United News of India news agency, as a Council Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation.
vi.He was one of the youngest past Presidents of the Indian Newspaper Society.
vii.Ravi, an award-winning former journalist and is a Director at Kasturi & Sons Ltd, which publishes The Hindu.
DHFL appoints Harshil Mehta as Joint MD and CEO
On 30th August 2017, DHFL, a leading housing finance company, has elevated Mr.Harshil Mehta as Joint Managing Director & CEO of the company with effect from September 2017. Prior to this elevation, Mr.Mehta was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.
- Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd.
- Headquarters – India
- Chairman& MD – Mr.Kapil Wadhawan
- Joint Managing Director& CEO – Mr.Harshil Mehta
Awards & Recognition
Mother Teresa named as co-patron of Kolkata archdiocese
To mark the first anniversary of Mother Teresa’s canonization, the Archdiocese of Kolkata will declare the saint a co-patroness of the local Church announced on 6th of sept.
i.Sister Prema inaugurated a two-day exhibition of paintings and sculptures on Mother Teresa organised by the Indian National Forum of Art and Culture in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
ii.The exposition by upcoming artists will be taken to different cities across India.
iii.According to Thomas D’Souza, the Archbishop of Calcutta, every diocese has a patron and the Archdiocese of Calcutta is dedicated to St Francis Xavier.
iv.She was declared a Saint by Pope Francis before over 1.20 lakh devotees at the Vatican on 4 September.
v.In 2003, Mother Teresa was sanctified as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”.
GIFT City wins ASSOCHAM Services Excellence Awards
On 6th September 2017, India’s first operational Smart City, Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT City), has won the prestigious Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Services Excellence Award in New Delhi.
About the ASSOCHAM Award winning:
- At a summit held in New Delhi, GIFT SEZ (Special Economic Zone) was honoured with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Services Excellence Award for its contribution to the growth of the International Financial Services and Technology Hub in India.
- The Awards were presented in the categories of Tourism and Hospitality, International Financial Services and Technology Hub, Banking and Financial Services, Insurance etc.
Accomplishments of GIFT City:
- GIFT City, India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), is operational with approximately 10 leading banks, 2 international exchanges (India INX and NSE IFSC), around 100 capital market players and 8 insurance companies having established their operations here.
- Various leading corporations have commenced their operations at GIFT in the domestic services zone as well. Nearly 200 institutions/units are currently operational at GIFT City employing 7,000 people and are expected to exceed 10,000 by end of the year.
- GIFT City, a Gujarat Government project in partnership with IL&FS is developingIndia’s first global financial hub.
- It is also India’s first multi-service SEZ with IFSC status catering to the country’s financial services market by offering global firms, world-class infrastructure and facilities.
- It is estimated that GIFT would provide 5,00,000 direct and an equal number of indirect jobs which would require 62 million square feet of office and residential space.
About GIFT City:
- Gujarat International Finance Tec-City
- Location – Gandhinagar, Gujarat
- Founder – Mr.Narendra Modi
- MD& CEO – Mr.Ajay Pandey
Acquisitions & Mergers
BSNL,Coriant ties up for industrial 5G applications
On 6th September 2017, State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) partnered with Coriant, a US-based packet optical and mobile routing solutions company to study and deploy 5G-based industrial internet applications for enterprise customers in New Delhi.
Tie between BSNL and Coriant:
- The arrangement between the two companies is on a non-commercial basisat this stage but Coriant expects to take technology to BSNL subscribers after the 5G rollout commencement.
- BSNL has sought premium 700 Mhz band for offering 4G and 5G services. It is also planning to start 5G trial together with Finnish gear maker Nokia.
- In March, Nokia entered into a similar arrangement with BSNL to leverage its global experience in 5G-related industry initiatives focusing on software defined network (SDN) and multi-access edge computing.
- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
- Indian government-owned telecommunications company
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Chairman& MD – Mr.Shri Anupam Shrivastava
Science & Technology
Government launches DIKSHA portal to teachers
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has launched national teacher’s portal diksha.gov.in on 5th of Sept. 2017. DIKSHA Portal is created to provide digital and advance technology to the teachers.
i.The main purpose of the Diksha portal is to focus the whole life cycle of the teacher, from the point they are student teachers till their retirement.
ii.The HRD ministry has also set up a slogan National Digital Infrastructure for Our Teachers Our Heroes for DIKSHA national teachers portal.
iii.Through this portal the teachers can take the benefit of the current digital infrastructure which is created for the teachers of the country.
Benefits & Features of DIKSHA Portal
i.This portal will provide new and modern technologies to the teachers.
ii.The teachers can learn free courses online at their home.
iii.Teachers can take the training through this portal in both modes offline as well as online.
iv.The portal will help the teachers to direct themselves, as they join the Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs).
v.Through this portal the teachers can take quality content and the content can be shared to multiple people and through multi channel.
vi.It means it can be accessed on various formats like PCs, mobile phones, tablets etc.
Second-Fastest-Spinning Pulsar Discovered by Astronomers
Astronomers have discovered a pulsar spinning at more than 42,000 revolutions per minute. It is thesecond-fastest Spinning Pulsar identified so far.
i.The new object, named PSR J0952-0607 – or J0952 for short – is classified as a millisecond pulsar and is located between 3,200 and 5,700 light-years away in the constellation Sextans.
ii.A pulsar is the core of a massive star that exploded as a supernova.
iii.The pulsar contains about 1.4 times the Sun’s mass and is orbited every 6.4 hours by a companion star.
iv.The rotating magnetic field powers beams of radio waves, visible light, X-rays and gamma rays.
v.If a beam happens to sweep across Earth, astronomers observe regular pulses of emission and classify the object as a pulsar.
vi.The discovery was made with the Netherlands-based Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) radio telescope by following up on mysterious high-energy sources mapped out by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
vii.The LOFAR discovery also hints at the potential to find a new population of ultra-fast pulsars.
India to host Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in 2019
India has been selected to host the 2019 edition of the Commonwealth (Youth, Junior and Senior) Weightlifting Championships.
i.The current edition of the tournament is being held at the Gold Coast Australia.
ii.India’s Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and K Sanjita Chanu has bagged a gold medal in Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships.
Hyderabad girl Tejasvi Duduka wins U.S. Open women’s singles title
Tejasvi Duduka from Hyderabad won the women’s singles of U.S. Open Grand Slam Carrom tournament.
i.Earlier, she had won the Telangana State Women’s singles title in Nizamabad.
ii.In the men’s singles, Vemuri Anil Kumar of India finished runner up for the second year in the U.S Open.
iii.The U.S. Open Carrom tournament was won by former National Champion Radhakrishnan.
Books & Authors
Shyam Saran’s ‘How India Sees the World’ book launched
The book of Former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran named “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century” launched by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh .
i.The book records the crucial meeting of the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) on the eve of India-Pakistan Defence Secretary-level talks in May 2006.
ii.The book launch was attended by a number of diplomats and politicians including Minister of Law and Justice, and Information Technology Ravishankar Prasad and former Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
iii.The book, which is part memoir and part thesis on India’s international relations, also has a section dedicated to the country’s complex and troubled ties with Pakistan and Nepal.
iv.The book has four sections, each representing a seminal theme.