Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs – August 02, 2018
Union Cabinet Decisions on 1 August:
- Extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad.
- Raising of Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) [SBM(G)] amounting up to Rs. 15,000 crore during the financial year 2018-19.
- Restructuring of the Agricultural Scientists’ Recruitment Board (ASRB).
- Policy Framework for exploration and exploitation of Unconventional Hydrocarbons.
- LIC to acquire controlling 51% stake of IDBI Bank.
- An opening of 13 new Kendriya Vidyalayas in seven States and an opening of second Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Alot, District Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh.
- Grant of Interest-Free Loan equivalent to interest during construction component to fertilizer revival projects at Sindri, Gorakhpur, and Barauni by Hindustan Urvarak and Rasayan Limited.
- The issue of fresh equity to the extent of 15% of the paid-up equity capital by Hindustan Copper Limited.
Government launches the scheme Seva Bhoj Yojna, beginning from 1 August
The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has launched the new scheme namely Seva Bhoj Yojna starting 01.08.2018, with a total outlay of Rs. 325.00 Crores for Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20. The scheme envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST)so as to lessen the financial burden of such as Religious/Charitable Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
NITI Aayog launches Move Hack, global mobility hackathon to crowdsource solutions for future of mobility in India
NITI Aayog has launched Move Hack, a global mobility hackathon to crowdsource solutions aimed at the future of mobility in India. Envisaged to be one of the largest hackathons globally, Move Hack is focused on 10 themes and structured over three legs: online, followed by Singapore leg, and the finals in New Delhi.
Nationwide ‘State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index’ released
As part of its commitment to create awareness about energy efficiency as a resource and also to develop an action plan for energy conservation initiatives, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), released the ‘State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index’, which assesses state policies and programmes aimed at improving energy efficiency across various sectors. The State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index has 63 indicators across Building, Industry, Municipality, Transport, Agriculture, and DISCOM with 4 cross-cutting indicators. States are categorized based on their efforts and achievements towards energy efficiency implementation, as ‘Front Runner’, ‘Achiever’, ‘Contender’ and ‘Aspirant’. The ‘Front Runner’ states in the inaugural edition of the Index are Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Rajasthan based on available data.
NITI Aayog to host Investors’ Conference for the Holistic Development of Islands on Aug 10
NITI Aayog will host an Investors’ Conference on August 10, 2018, at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra for the Holistic Development of Islands. The Conference will be inaugurated by Shri. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. It will attract investment for the sustainable development of eco-tourism projects in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.
‘Chill Bus’ service begins in Kerala
Kerala Transport minister AK Saseendran has launched ‘Chill Bus’, a new low-floor AC buses service. Around 180 buses are going to be a part of this service. This premium bus service will link all main regions like east-west, south-north regions as well as main tourist places.
RBI hikes repo rates by 25 basis points in 3rd Bi-monthly Monetary policy on 1 August
The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to increase the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5% due to inflation concerns. Repurchase rate or the repo rate is the rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks in the event of any shortfall of funds. Reverse repo — the rate at which the RBI borrows money from commercial banks within the country — is adjusted to 6.25%. The RBI has projected the inflation at 4.6% in Q2, 4.8% in H2 of 2018-19 and 5.0% in Q1 of 2019-20 “with risks evenly balanced”.Present Rates are as follows:
GST collections at Rs 96,483 crore in July
Revenue collection from Goods and Services Tax (GST) steadily rose to Rs 96,483 crore in the month of July, from Rs 95,610 crore in June, data released by Finance Ministry showed. Despite a rise in revenue collection in July, the mop-up is still lower than the government’s monthly target of Rs 1 lakh crore. The 2018-19 budgeted estimate for GST collection is Rs 12 lakh crore.
President gives away Outstanding Parliamentarian awards
President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the Outstanding Parliamentarian awards on 1 August. The Awardees were Najma Heptullah, Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Dinesh Trivedi and Bhartru Hari Mahtab. At the program, the Prime Minister expressed concern over disruptions in Parliament saying that the Nation was the loser. Dr. Najma Heptullah won the award for 2013, Hukum Dev Narayan for 2014, Ghulam Nabi Azad for 2015, Dinesh Trivedi for 2016 and Bhartruhari Mahtab for 2017.
PHDCCI and CNI sign MoU to set up Indo-Nepal Centre
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish India-Nepal Centre. It will further strengthen economic engagement between the two countries. The MoU aims to promote Indian investment in Nepal, Work with Indian ventures in Nepal to resolve problems being faced by them, promote industrialization in Nepal and provide training to Nepali entrepreneurs. The MoU was signed by Anil Khaitan, President of PHDCCI and Hari Bhakta Sharma, President of CNI in Kathmandu recently.
Lucknow Metro, BSNL ink pact to facilitate customer services
Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) and BSNL have signed a MoU for extending benefits in customer services. Through this agreement, BSNL will avail the smart card services of LMRC for the collection of post-paid bills and sale of prepaid products like recharge vouchers and electronic top-up at LMRC station counters.
StarAgri Fin, Karur Vysya Bank tie-up for agri lending
StarAgri Finance, a subsidiary of StarAgri Warehousing and Collateral Management, and Karur Vysya Bank have entered into a strategic tie-up for co-lending against agriculture commodities stored in the StarAgri’s warehouses. An MoU was signed between StarAgri Finance and KVB for co-lending services in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This partnership will help make institutional finance accessible to local commodity traders and farmers.
ICICI Bank gets RBI nod for Bakshi’s appointment as COO
ICICI Bank recently said the Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the Chief Operating Officer with effect from July 31, 2018, for 3 years. CEO Chanda Kochhar will be on leave till completion of the external enquiry against her in the Videocon loan matter and named Sandeep Bakhshi as the chief operating officer, who would be handling all the businesses, ICICI Bank had said in June.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Y.C. Deveshwar appointed non-official directors in Air India
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the appointment of Mr. Birla and Mr. Deveshwar as non-official independent directors in Air India for a period of 3 years, the order issued by Personnel Ministry said. Besides them, Shyamvir Saini and Gurmohinder Singh will be non-official independent directors in National Seeds Corporation Ltd and Bharat Earth Movers Limited respectively. Arun Tandon has been appointed a non-official director in Balmer Lawrie and Co Ltd, the order said without citing any details about these people. Tapan Kumar Mandal has been named non-official independent directors in Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, the order said.
CB Ananthakrishnan assumes charge as Director (Finance) of HAL
State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd recently said C B Ananthakrishnan has assumed charge as Director (Finance) of the company. Prior to this, he was the Executive Director (Finance) at HAL Corporate Office, the company said in a statement.
CAG of India signs 28 UN Audit Reports
Comptroller and Auditor General of India Rajiv Mehrishi signed 28 UN Audit Reports at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Mehrishi chaired the 72nd regular session of the UN Board of Auditors on July 24 and 25. The Board session was also attended by Auditor General of the United Republic of Tanzania Prof Mussa Juma Assad, President of the German Federal Court of Auditors Kay Scheller and Comptroller General of Chile Jorge Bermudez Soto who was also members of the United Nations Board of Auditors.
Nepal: Indian Embassy camp office in Biratnagar closed down
The camp office of Indian Embassy in Biratnagar, Nepal has been closed down from 2 August. All the services including issuing of motor vehicle permits, registration certificates for Indian nationals, attestation of documents and birth or death registrations rendered by Biratnagar Camp Office now can be availed from the Embassy of India, Kathmandu office. The Biratnagar Camp Office was opened in 2008 to deal with the situation arising out of devastating Kosi floods. The purpose of this Camp Office has been fulfilled and Government of India had decided to wind up the Camp Office and relocate the personnel.
China launches the Gaofen-11 satellite on a Long March 4B rocket
China launches the Gaofen-11 satellite on a Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China’s Shanxi Province on 31 July. The satellite has been successfully put into the predetermined orbit.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers meet begins in Singapore
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong kicked off the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Singapore on 2 August. Lee emphasized the need for ASEAN countries to be united to avoid repercussions amid trade tensions between the United States and its long-time trading partners, including China, the EU, and Canada.
Asian Athletics Championships to be held in April 2019
The 23rd Asian Athletics Championships will be held in Qatar’s capital city of Doha, from April 19 to April 24, 2019. The biennial continental event which is usually held in July-August has been preponed by the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) due to the intensely hot and humid summers in Doha. The 6-day competition will be held at the Khalifa International Stadium, which will also host the IAAF World Championships from September 28 to October 06, 2019. With less than two years to go for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the planning committee of Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has advised all the coaches and athletes to focus on the two competitions.
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Coal India Limited (CIL) headquarters: Kolkata
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited: Mumbai