GA- 08 & 09 Aug 2017

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GA- 08 & 09 Aug 2017

75th anniversary of Quit India Movement

  • The 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement was observed across the country.
  • This year’s theme was “Sankalp se Siddhi- the attainment through resolve”.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent Mann Ki Baat programme had called for launching the mega campaign Sankalp Se Siddhi.
  • The campaign pledges to build new India by 2022.
  • It calls on everyone to pledge together towards Clean India, Poverty–free India, Corruption-free India, Terrorism-free India, Communalism-free India, Casteism-free India. 

ICICI Bank launches instant credit cards 

  • The country’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, launched instant credit cards enabling its savings account customers to get a credit card instantly, in a completely digital and paperless manner. 
  • The bank has opened up this offering to a few lakh of pre-qualified customers who can apply for the card online and generate card details and start shopping online instantly.
  • The bank has opened up the card with a credit limit of up to Rs four lakh based on pre-checked bureau scores.
  • The application procedure also incorporates an additional level of authentication in order to make the offering secured.

8th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting held in Manila, Philippines

  • The Eighth Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting (8th MGC MM) was held on 7 August 2017 in Manila, Philippines.
  • India has called for expanding the areas of cooperation among the member countries of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) bloc.
  • MGC countries have proposed to add newer areas of cooperation to the traditional areas on tourism, culture, education, transport and communication to further deepen mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation.
  • The MGC is an initiative by India and five ASEAN countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for cooperation in tourism, culture, education, as well as transport and communications. 

Govt launches Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017

  • The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has released Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017, third party survey report to assess the progress Swachh Bharat Mission in rural India.
  • The survey was undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June 2017 to take into account status of rural sanitation in all States and UTs.
  • The survey covered 4626 villages across all States and Union territories. 
  • QCI claims that 62.45% of the households have access to a toilet and 91.29% of the people who had access to a toilet also used it.  
  • Over 4.54 crore household toilets have been constructed since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin.
  • 2,20,104 villages, 160 districts and 5 States declared ODF. Sanitation Coverage has increased from 39% in October 2016 to 66% in August 2017. 
  • Northeastern States of Sikkim, Nagaland and Manipur with 95% rural households covered by toilets were top performers.
  • Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand were also top performers with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses.
  • Bihar (30% coverage) and Uttar Pradesh (37%), Jharkhand (37%) were among the worst performers in terms of rural sanitation.

Govt constitute committee to make drugs more affordable

  • The Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has constituted a committee of joint secretaries for ensuring enhanced affordability, availability and accessibility of drugs for the citizens.
  • The committee will suggest ways to make pricing policy in favour of poor patients. 

Govt merges NCRB with BPRD

  • The Union Home Ministry has merged three-decade old National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) with Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD). 
  • The merger aims at improving administrative efficiency and optimal utilisation of resources for development works related to policing.
  • It will also boost crime data collection and research efforts. 
  • Now BPR&D will oversee all the data collection related to Crime in India, Suicides and Accidental Deaths, Prison Statistics and Fingerprints which which was earlier done by NCRB. 

NITI Aayog partners with 6 states to transform Health & Education sectors

  • The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has announced partnership with three states each to radically transform their Health and Education sectors under its Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) initiative.
  • The shortlisted states for transforming their health sector are Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka. Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha were selected for transforming their education sector. 
  • Under this initiative, a Program Management Unit will now be available in the six chosen States for a period of 30 months to push for efficiency and efficacy in governance structures and service delivery. 
  • The SATH initiative was launched to go beyond ranking states and to handhold them in improving their social sector indicators. 
  • NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs.

NSDC, Google India launch mobile app development programme

  • The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Google India have launched Android Skill Development programme to improve mobile developer ecosystem in the country.
  • The programme aims to impart mobile development training on the android OS and web platform and also improve the quality of mobile app development ecosystem in India. 
  • The programme will accelerate mobile skill training and create opportunities for youth in the country.
  • It will focus on achieving the target of the Government’s ambitious Skill India initiative.

India ratifies 2nd commitment period of Kyoto Protocol

  • India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (or Doha Amendment) that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
  • In this regard, India deposited its Instrument of Acceptance of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.
  • With this, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period (2013- 2020) of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international GHGs emissions reduction treaty linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 
  • It commits its Parties by setting internationally binding GHGs emission reduction targets.

Maharashtra Govt to raise $270 m from Green Climate Fund

  • The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG) has decided to help the Maharashtra Govt to raise $270 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). 
  • The amount raised will be invested in state govt’s integrated watershed programmes such as Jalyukt Shivar Yojana which has successfully augmented the ground water in drought affected areas of the state.
  • It will also be used in crop diversification and adding market linkages.
  • The 2030WRG is hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

Govt to expand Logistics Data Bank project to South India

  • The Union Ministry of Shipping is planning to expand Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project to the country’s southern region.
  • So far, it had covered only only the western logistics corridor.
  • The LDB project was launched at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), Mumbai in July 2016, making it first port in India to provide this service.

India, Iran call for early operationalisation of Chabahar Port

  • India and Iran have expressed commitment for early completion and operationalisation of Chabahar Port besides strengthening bilateral ties. 
  • Both countries in a series of meetings held during the Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari two-day visit to Iran to attend the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani second tenure as President. 
  • Chabahar port is strategically located in the southeastern Sistan-Balochistan province, on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan.
  • In May 2016, India and Iran had signed a bilateral agreement, under which India agreed to refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti port, and reconstruct a 600-metre long container handling facility at the port.

India ranks 43rd in 2017 Global Retirement Index

  • India was ranked last at 43rd position in 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI) published by French asset management company Natixis Global. 
  • The index ranks 43 countries on the basis of four factors viz. the material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being); access to quality health services (Health); access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances) and a clean and safe environment (Quality of Life ).
  • The 43 countries include members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). 
  • Norway topped the list followed by Switzerland and Iceland.
  • India ranks 43rd and has the same score compared to 2016 GRI.
  • India also ranks the lowest among the BRIC economies.

Sri Lankan navy commissions India-built Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel

  • An Indian-built Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) has been commissioned by the Sri Lankan navy at a ceremony in Colombo harbour. 
  • Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena launched the country’s newest acquisition– “SLNS Sayurala”–earlier this week at the ceremony at the Eastern Container Terminal of the Port of Colombo. 
  • Constructed by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in India, it is the first-ever brand new AOPV purchased from a foreign ship builder, custom-made for the specific requirements of the Sri Lankan Navy.
  • With a length of 105.7 metre and width of 13.6 metre, the vessel has a displacement of 2,350 tonnes.
  • The GSL built the AOPV under an agreement signed on February 2014 and it was handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy on July 22. 
  • The Goa Shipyard Limited is also building a second AOPV for Sri Lanka and it will be joining the country’s fleet next year. 

Entire Assam declared as ‘disturbed’ area under AFSPA for another month

  • The Union Home Ministry has declared entire Assam state as a disturbed area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for one more month, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB, and others. 
  • The Home Ministry also declared 20 km belt along Meghalaya’s border areas adjoining Assam and three districts in Arunachal Pradesh (Tirap, Changlang and Longding) as disturbed under the AFSPA for two more months.

Justice Dipak Misra appointed as 45th Chief Justice of India

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Justice Dipak Misra (63), senior-most judge of the Supreme Court as the next Chief Justice of India.
  • He will be 45th CJI and succeeds Justice JS Khehar.
  • He will have tenure of over 13 months till October 2018.
  • He will be the third person from Odisha to be appointed the CJI, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.

Hrithik Roshan inks Rs 100 crore deal with startup Cure

  • Health and wellness startup has signed on actor Hrithik Roshan as brand ambassador in what is touted as one of the largest endorsement deal signed by an Indian startup. 
  • The five-year association, valued at Rs 100 crore, includes the actor’s equity stake in the company in lieu of cash investment, promotions and royalty from his personal brand HRX’s specialised workout plan.
  • This plan will be introduced across Cult fitness centres operated by 

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