August 02, 2019

READ IN HINDI

National

  1. Rural India set to become ODF by 2nd October
  • Rural India is set to become Open Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019 with the successful implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (Rural).
  • More than 9.6 crore toilets have been built since October 2, 2014 under the Narendra Modi-led government. Besides this, more than 5.6 lakh villages have become open defecation free.
  • According to Economic Survey 2018-19, over 9.5 crore toilets have been built all over the country and 564,658 villages have been declared open-defecation free (ODF).
  • Besides this, more than 5.6 lakh villages have become open defecation free. Overall, through Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin, 99.2 per cent of rural India has been covered in the last four years.
  1. SC transfers all five Unnao cases to Delhi, orders Rs 25 lakh compensation
  • The Supreme Court on August 1, 2019 directed the transfer of all five cases registered in connection to the Unnao rape incident from Uttar Pradesh court to Delhi court.
  • The SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide Rs 25 lakh to the rape survivor as an interim compensation.
  • The apex court bench also directed the CBI to complete the investigation of the fifth case relating to the accident in which the woman and her lawyer have been critically injured within 7 days. The bench stated that the CBI can only seek time extension in the probe under exceptional circumstances.
  • The court, however, did not pass an order on airlifting of the rape victim and her lawyer from King George Medical College Hospital to AIIMS, New Delhi. The SC said that it will pass the order in this regard after receiving instruction from their family members.
  1. Lok Sabha to become paperless from next session
  • Lok Sabha is expected to become paperless from the next session. The announcement was made by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. The move is expected to save crores worth of rupees to the exchequer.
  • Besides this, the LS Speaker stated that various new initiatives will be taken to improve the functioning of the house.
  • The Speaker also assured the House that if any member needed paper he or she will be provided with the same.
  1. Parliament passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  • The Parliament passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It provides a 330-day timeline for insolvency resolution process and specifies minimum payouts to operational creditors in any resolution plan. The amendments will bring greater clarity to mergers, demergers, and amalgamations as part of the resolution process.

Key Points:

♦Earlier, the timeline was 270 days.

♦It provides greater clarity on permissibility of corporate restructuring schemes, clarity on the rights and duties of authorized representatives of voters.

♦It gives committee of creditors of a loan defaulting company an explicit authority over the distribution of proceeds in the resolution process.

♦8 amendments to 7 sections in the IBC were made which include Section 5, Section 7, Section 12,  Section 25A, Section 30, Section 31, Section 33 and Section 240 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

♦It will be binding on the Centre, State and local authorities.

♦IBC 2016 says that National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) must determine the existence of default within 14 days of receiving a resolution application and may accept or reject it and the new Bill states that the NCLT must record its reasons in writing if it has not passed an order within 14 days.

♦The number of members of NCLT was increased and the strength at present is 52.

♦The Bill specifies the manner in which the representative of a group of financial creditors should vote.

  1. India is the 46th highest risk country in the world: Water Stress Index
  • According to the Water Stress Index, formulated by London-based risk analytics firm Verisk Maplecroft, India is the 46th highest risk country in the world. It measured the water consumption rates of households, industries and farm sectors and the available resources in rivers, lakes and streams and plotted the index with projected population growth trends to rank the cities facing the biggest threat to their water resources. Chennai is the “tip of the iceberg” for India’s water stressed cities.

Key Points:

♦11 out of India’s 20 largest cities face an ‘extreme risk’ of water stress and 7 are in the ‘high risk’ category. Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Nashik, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Indore are among the cities facing ‘extreme risk’.

♦Bengaluru and Surat are experiencing the greatest surge in demand for water and are most at risk of facing scarcity. Chennai and Delhi are also extremely vulnerable.

♦India is rated ‘high risk’ in the Climate Change Vulnerability Index. The effects of climate change like an ‘extended dry season’ would deteriorate water stress situation in Indian cities and many Indian cities are projected to experience a higher number of consecutive drought days when precipitation is less than 1 mm.

♦Bengaluru may experience 5% hike in consecutive drought by 2060, relative to the period from 1981-2005.

State

  1. Unnao rape accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar expelled by BJP
  • The ruling BJP government expelled Unnao rape accused MLA Kuldeep Sengar on August 1, 2019. Kuldeep Sengar, a BJP MLA in Uttar Pradesh, was accused of raping a minor girl from Unnao.
  • The action comes days after the rape victim was critically injured and her aunty and mother died in a road accident near Raibareli on 28 July. The family alleged that the accident to be an attempt to kill her.
  • Three police personnel, including two women cops, who were appointed for the security of the Unnao rape survivor, have been suspended in connection with her road accident.
  • The BJP had suspended Kuldeep Sengar earlier after the case emerged, however, no other stringent action was taken against him then.
  1. Tamilnadu to get Rs 6.22 crore under Silk Samagra for the development of silk industry
  • Tamil Nadu will receive about Rs 6.22 crore under the Silk Samagra for the development of the silk industry. The state has been ranked among the leading silk producing States in India. Silk Samagra is an Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry (ISDSI) implemented by the Union government through the Central Silk Board (CSB) at an outlay of Rs 2,161.68 crore for 3 years from 2017-18.

Key Points:

♦Upto March 31, 2019, Tamil Nadu produced 2,072 metric tons of raw silk.

♦The leading marketing federations of Tamil Nadu- TANSILK, Kancheepuram, and the Government Anna Silk Exchange, Kancheepuram have met the sales target assigned to them during 2018- 19.

♦Silk Samagra scheme has 4 major components – research & development, training, transfer of technology and Information Technology initiatives, seed organisations, coordination and market development and quality certification systems export brand promotion and technology upgradation.

Banking & Finance

  1. RBI permits domestic banks to directly sell their NPAs overseas as part of one-time settlement
  • India’s central banking institution, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opened a new route to allow domestic banks directly sell their non-performing assets (NPA) in manufacturing and infrastructure sectors to investors abroad as part of the one-time settlement (OTS) on behalf of the borrowing company.
  • It will allow overseas investors to take direct loan exposure to Indian corporates.

Key points:

♦ECB For defaulters:  The loan defaulters are allowed to sell their assets in compliance with the OTS exercise, in order to raise external commercial borrowing (ECB) from overseas to repay domestic loans in the country.

♦ECB For corporates:  RBI also opened this route to Indian corporate as they can also raise long-term loans for working capital, general corporate purposes and repaying domestic rupee loans. They can avail of ECB facility for repayment of loans availed for capital expenditure in manufacturing and infrastructure sector and it is classified as SMA-2 (Special Mention Accounts with outstanding not serviced for 60 to 90 days).

♦ECB for Banks:  Lending banks too can sell off the loan assets through the assignment and recover their dues.

♦Benefits:  It will also reduce the pressure on the NCLT(National Company Law Tribunal) under IBC (Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code), as banks and the companies will now easily get into an OTS between themselves, funds for which have to be raised overseas by the defaulter/banks.

Business & Economy

  1. Finance Ministry imposed Anti Dumping Duty on PTA imports from South Korea & Thailand
  • Based on the recommendations of the Designated Authority in the Commerce Ministry in its sunset review findings, Union Ministry of Finance imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on all imports of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) from South Korea and Thailand. PTA is a primary raw material in the manufacture of polyester chips, which are used in a number of applications in textile, packaging, furnishings, consumer goods, resins and coatings.

Key Points:

♦The Revenue Department imposed a definitive anti-dumping duty of $27.32 per tonne on PTA produced by Hanwha General Chemical Co Ltd and exported by Hyosung TNC Corporation.

♦A definitive anti-dumping duty of $23.61 per tonne has been imposed for PTA exported by Taekwang Industrial Co Ltd.

♦For all other exporters from South Korea, the duty is charged at $78.28 per tonne.

♦For the PTA exported by Indorama Petrochem Ltd and TPT Petrochemicals Public Co Ltd of Thailand, the Department has imposed an anti-dumping duty of $45.43 per tonne and for all other exporters from Thailand, it is charged at $62.55 per tonne.

Sports

  1. PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal retained their top 10place in the latest Women’s singles rankings in badminton
  • In the recently released women’s singles ranking by Badminton World Federation, India’s star players PVSindhu and Saina Nehwal have retained 5th spot and 8th spot respectively. The ranking is topped by Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi.

Key points

♦Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying was overtaken by Akane Yamaguchi to become the new world no.1 champion.

♦Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara is ranked second and Tai Tzu Ying is ranked third in the BWF rankings.

♦In BWF men’s ranking japan’s Kento Momota is ranked first whereas India’s Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma are ranked 10th and 13th respectively

Appointment & Resignation

  1. RN Ravi sworn in as Nagaland Governor
  • RN Ravi was sworn in as the new Governor of Nagaland on August 1, 2019 at a function at Raj Bhawan in Nagaland’s capital city Kohima.
  • Ravi was administered the oath of the office and secrecy by Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Arup Kumar Goswami in the presence of Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio.
  • The 67-year-old had previously served as a former Intelligence Bureau officer and an interlocutor for the Naga peace talks.
  1. Ravi Capoor took Charge as the Secretary in Ministry of Textiles
  • Ravi Capoor (an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 1986 batch) took charge as secretary in the Ministry of Textiles in New Delhi. He succeeds Raghvendra Singh.
  • He was in charge of Mines & Minerals, Forest & Environment, Act East Policy Affairs, and Public Enterprises Department as Additional Chief Secretary, Assam, from the period of 2016 to 2019. Besides he also had the portfolios of Industry and Commerce & worked as additional Development Commissioner, Handicrafts from 2002 to 2004.
  • He earlier served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India from 2011 to 2016 and was handling India’s trade with ASEAN, CIS countries, engineering exports and export promotion program of the Commerce and Industry Ministry. He also worked as the CEO(Chief Executive Officer) of India Brand Equity Foundation.
  • He held the position of Executive Director, Petroleum Conservation Research Association and Director in the Ministry of Petroleum from 2004 to 2008. He played a key role in the sectors of refining, project management and implementation, pricing and supply and resolving operational issues.
  • He was the director of Rural Infrastructure project in Assam that was funded by World Bank.
  • He had a broad experience of working in international agencies like the World Bank(WB), European Union(EU), United Nations(UN), Department for International Development in the Primary Education Project with Government of India(GoI).
  1. Guruprasad Mohapatra takes charge as secretary of DPIIT
  • Guruprasad Mohapatra(an IAS Officer of 1986 batch) assumed charge of the office of Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in New Delhi. He replaces Ramesh Abhishek.
  • Prior to this appointment, he served as chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), a statutory body working under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, where he brought many changes in AAI’s strategic operations.
  • He played a major role in achieving greater excellence in the sector of airport infrastructure development at the metro airports &in tier-II and tier-III cities.
  • He also served as a joint secretary in the Department of Commerce, where he worked for the promotion of special economic zones (SEZs), public procurement and project exports (financing and insurance).
  • As a municipal commissioner in Surat, Gujarat, he was involved in the process of converting Surat into one of the models of urban governance with its impetus on solid waste management, quality infrastructure, and financial management.
  • He was instrumental in developing several urban development projects such as the Sabarmati riverfront, BRTS(Bus Rapid Transit System), Kankaria lakefront and heritage promotion by worked as municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad.
  • He also served as managing director(MD) in several listed public sector undertakings(PSU) in India and held a position as the transport commissioner and commissioner (commercial taxes) in Gujarat.
  1. Girraj Prasad Gupta took over as CGA in New Delhi
  • Girraj Prasad Gupta(a 1983-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer) took over as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in New Delhi. He succeeds Anthony Lianzuala as the new Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
  • He held higher positions in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Ministry of Rural Development and served as the Director of National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Faridabad.
  • Gupta, as an Additional Controller General of Accounts got his credit for the work in development and implementation of Public Financial Management System (PFMS), a backbone IT(Information Technology) infrastructure for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Government of India.
  • He also served as Director (Finance) on the joint venture mega hydel power project in Bhutan.
  • CAG: It works under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India(GoI).It is the apex accounting authority derives its mandate from Article 150 of the constitution which says, The accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the President may, on the advice of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.

Award & Honors

  1. Renowned entrepreneur Rohan Rajput was bestowed with prestigious Entrepreneur of the year award 2019
  • Co-founder and director of Einfolge Technologies Pvt Ltd, Mr. Ruhan Rajput was honoured entrepreneur of the Year award 2019 for his excellence in the service sector and for his contributions and achievements in the business industry.
  • The event was hosted by America’s Business Magazine Entrepreneur India along with its Franchise India
  • Ruhan was also acknowledged as the “Entrepreneur Of The Year in Service Business- BPO/KPO recently” on 18th July
  • Ruhan is also an actor and model in Bollywood industry and has recently started in ‘Dil Mera’ produced by Zee music company.
  1. Dr Vinayak S Hiremath, the youngest doctor of Gulbarga, felicitated with ‘Pride of Nation Award’
  • Dr Vinayak S Hiremath, aged 30,the youngest doctor of Gulbarga (Kalaburagi), Karnataka was felicitated with ‘Pride of Nation Award’ by the Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh at the ceremony held at NCC (National Cadet Corps) auditorium parade grounds in New Delhi on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas (July 26). He is the first South Indian doctor to offer free insulin consultation and treatment to gestational (pregnancy) diabetic mothers and family members of the Indian Army.

Key Points:

♦He is presently working as the Chief Consultant Physician Diabetologist and Intensivist at KMK Hospital, Cochin, Kerala.

♦He is credited to be one among the top 10 achievers in the healthcare industry in India.

♦Pride of the Nation Award’ is given to the people who have made a notable contribution in their fields and in the process made India proud.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. UNSC to meet on N Korea missile tests
  • The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet on August 1, 2019 to discuss the recent ballistic missiles tests by North Korea. The missile tests were the second such tests conducted in a matter of a week.
  • European nations- Britain, France and Germany had requested the discussion amid growing concern that North Korea is developing long-range weapons in violation of UNSC resolutions.
  • According to South Korea, North Korea fired two ballistic missiles on July 31, days after a similar launch. The North Korea had described the earlier tests as a warning to the South over its joint military drills with the US.
  • Under UNSC resolution, North Korea is banned from test launching ballistic missiles.
  1. Researchers from China & US developed a new computer model to predict India’s pollution levels
  • The team of researchers from China and the United States developed a new computer model that can help accurately predict air pollution levels in the region a season in advance. The data from El Niño and Antarctic Oscillation events can be used to predict air pollution levels in northern India. It will allow the government to forecast aerosol pollution conditions in winter and formulate plans for pollution control.

Key Points:

♦The research was published in the journal Science Advances.

♦Meng Gao from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University in the US said that the statistical prediction model uses 2 autumn temperature variation patterns as predictors.

♦According to the State of Global Air 2019 Report, over 1.2 million people died in India due to air pollution in 2017.

Obituary

  1. Malcolm Nash, who was famously hit for being hit six sixes in an over passed away
  • Former England cricketer Malcolm Nash, who was best known for being hit by Sir Garfield Sobers for six sixes in an over has passed away after he collapsed while attending a dinner at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. He was 74.
  • He was born on 9 May 1945 in Abergavenny, United Kingdom(UK).
  • He took 993 first-class wickets in a 17-year career between 1966 and 1983 and was Glamorgan’s leading wicket-taker when they won the County Championship in 1969.
  • His name was forever linked with that of Sobers after the sober went on the attack during a County Championship in 1968. It was the first time any batsman had hit six sixes in a six-ball over in first-class cricket.
  • He also played 271 List A matches between 1967 and 1985 & helped Glamorgan defeat Australia in 1968.

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August 3, 2019

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