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GA- 09 & 10 Jun 2018
FDI in India rises to US $61.96 billion
- According to Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), foreign direct investment (FDI) in India has increased to US $61.96 billion in 2017-18.
- FDI inflow in previous fiscal was US $60 billion.
- FDI inflows has jumped to US 4222.75 billion from US $152 billion in last four years.
- The main sectors that received maximum FDI were services, computer software and hardware, telecommunications, construction, trading and automobile.
- Major sources of FDI to Indian included Mauritius, Singapore, Japan, Netherlands, US, Germany, France and UAE.
- According to recent UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) report, FDI to India decreased to US $40 billion in 2017 from US $44 billion in 2016, while outflows from India, the main source of investment in South Asia, has doubled.
Rural sanitation coverage crosses 85% mark
- According to Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, rural sanitation coverage of India rose to 85% under Swachh Bharat Mission.
- This recent survey was conducted by Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages across the country and has found usage of toilets in rural India to be 93.4%.
- It has successfully built 7.4 crore toilets across rural India through mobilization of rural communities.
- As result of it, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts across the country have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
- Two independent surveys conducted in past by Quality Council of India (QCI) in 2017 and National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in 2016 had pegged usage of these toilets at 91% and 95% respectively.
- Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in Oct 2014 to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation.
- It aims to achieve Swachh Bharat or make India clean by 2019, as a fitting tribute to 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
India ranks 136th in Global Peace Index
- India has been ranked 136th among 163 countries in Global Peace Index 2018.
- The Global Peace Index was released by Sydney-based think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
- India was ranked 137th in 2017.
- 2018 GPI was twelfth edition of index since it was launched in 2006.
- Iceland ranked the most peaceful country in the world, followed by New Zealand and Austria.
- Iceland managed to retain its first position since 2008.
- The average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated by 2.38% since 2008.
Govt to raise 5 Indian Reserve Police battalions in Jammu & Kashmir
- The Central Govt has decided to raise five Indian Reserve Police (IRP) battalions in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) with an aim to provide jobs to local youths.
- These battalions will have 60% reservation to people from border areas of J&K.
- The five IRP battalions in J&K will have over 5,000 personnel in which 60% reservation will be given to people living in zero to 10 km range from the border.
- Two female battalions comprising 1,000 women personnel will also be created.
- The women battalion will primarily deal with incidents lke stone pelting in Kashmir valley and other law and order duties.
- The cost of raising each battalion us around Rs 61 crore and 75% of it will be provided by central government.
Punjab govt launches ‘Business First Portal’
- The Punjab govt has launched a ‘Business First Portal’ to give a big push towards the ease of doing business in the state.
- The portal was unveiled by Industry Minister Sunder Sham Arora in Jalandhar.
- It will facilitate the industrialists for Regulatory Clearances and Fiscal Approvals, real-time tracking of applications at common platform.
India, China ink 2 MoUs
- India and China have signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) related to sharing of Brahmaputra river data and supply of non-Basmati rice.
- These MoUs were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held discussions on bilateral and global issues to take forward agenda set at informal Wuhan Summit of April 2018.
- This was the 14th meeting between two leaders over past 4 years.
- Under MoU on sharing of Brahmaputra river data, China will provide India hydrological data of the Brahmaputra River in flood season crucial to predict floods.
- It was signed between China’s Ministry of Water Resources and India’s Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- The agreement will enable China to provide hydrological data in flood season from May 15 to Oct 15 every year.
Mandela-Gandhi Youth Conference held at Pietermaritzburg
- The Mandela-Gandhi Youth Conference held at Pietermaritzburg in South Africa on Jun 08, 2018.
- The conference was part of a 3-day commemoration of the historic incident 125 years ago when on June 7, 1893, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a young lawyer then, was thrown off a train compartment reserved for whites only.
- Diaspora youth from India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia Egypt, Malawi, Seychelles and Mozambique joined more than 120 South African youngsters to debate and share views on whether the Gandhian philosophy of Satyagraha, Ahimsa and Sarvodaya was relevant today and whether it could be used to find solutions for the problems around the world.
- A resolution also passed unanimously at the conference which said the youth of this world, citizens of diverse nationalities, ideologies, backgrounds, colour, creed, race and sex, embrace the ideals of the Mahatma and Madiba as apostles of peace and truth.
Andhra Pradesh becomes 1st Indian state to use auto-disable syringes
- Andhra Pradesh will become the 1st Indian state to use auto-disable syringes for all clinical purposes to prevent infection.
- It will be enforced from the World Hepatitis Day (WHD-2018) when the state govt will declare itself as “Safety Injection Use State”.
- It will ensure one injection will be given from one syringe by mandating universal usage of auto-disable syringes in all clinical/therapeutic cases as part of infection prevention.
‘Queen’ variety of pineapple declares state fruit of Tripura
- President Ram Nath Kovind has declared the ‘Queen’ variety of pineapple as the state fruit of Tripura.
- The famous ‘Queen’ variety is spiny, golden yellow in color and emits pleasant aroma and flavor at the ripen stage.
- The fruits are harvested when eyes turns yellow during mid-May to mid-July when the fruit is available.
- It got the Geographical Indication (GI) in 2015 and is the best quality of pineapple in the world.
- Tripura is one of the largest pineapple growing states in the country and there are more than 100 commercial scale pineapple plantations in the state.
Sudheesh Guruvayoor set Guinness World Record by distributing largest number of curry tree saplings
- An Indian farmer from Kerala, Sudheesh Guruvayoor has set a Guinness World Record by distributing the largest number of curry tree saplings in Sharjah.
- He distributed 4,914 saplings of the organic curry tree and broke the record set by the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara in Dubai who had distributed 2,083 saplings of three varieties of trees to students of Delhi Private School in Mar 2018.
- The saplings from his own farm in Sharjah were distributed to the students of two campuses of the Sharjah Indian High School.
- He achieved the new feat as part of the World Environment Day (WED-2018) celebrations in the country.
- Curry leaves are used for the aroma and flavour in the cuisine of various states in India, especially in the south.
SCO summit adopts declaration calling for 3-year plan to combat terrorism
- The 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit has been concluded with the adoption of the Qingdao declaration.
- It was adopted by leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
- India has been represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- India and Pakistan participated for the first time in summit as full members of SCO grouping.
- The Qingdao declaration calls for implementing three-year plan to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism.
- SCO participating leaders also adopted total of 17 documents at the summit, which particularly include documents endorsing 2018-2022 Action Plan to implement Treaty for Long-term Good-Neighborly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation between SCO states and 2019-2020 Program for Cooperation in countering terrorism, separatism and extremism.
- They also signed decision to approve 2018-2023 Anti-Drug Strategy and Action Plan to implement it.
- India refused to endorse China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project as part of Qingdao Declaration at the 18th SCO summit.
- At the restricted session of the SCO Summit, Indian Prime Minister Modi floated concept of SECURE: ‘S’ for security for citizens, ‘E’ for economic development, ‘C’ for connectivity in the region, ‘U’ for unity, ‘R’ for respect of sovereignty and integrity, and ‘E for environment protection.
- SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and security organisation headquartered in Beijing, China.
India submits Berne Convention declaration
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) notified declaration submitted by Indian relating to Article II and III of Appendix to Paris Act (1971) related to Berne Convention for Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
- This declaration will come into force, with respect to India from Mar 28, 2018.
- It will enable India to avail itself faculties provided for Article II and III of the Appendix to Berne Convention during 10 years period that will expire, on Oct 10, 2024.
- India has been member of Berne Convention since April 1928.
- Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention) is international copyright agreement that mandates equal treatment of copyrighted works by signatories, known as Berne Union.
5 countries elected as non-permanent members of UNSC
- United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has elected South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Belgium as non-permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC).
- They all five will have two-year term beginning Jan 1, 2019.
- UNSC is most powerful and one of the six principal organs United Nations.
- Under UN Charter it has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
- It has 15 members, including five permanent ones with the power of veto.
- The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, UK and US.
- 10 non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms each.
Dhanush artillery gun clears final test
- India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun Dhanush has been successfully passed its final test at Pokhran, Rajasthan.
- It paves its way for induction into Indian Army.
- Earlier the gun had passed tests under severe cold conditions in Sikkim and Leh and in hot and humid weather in Balasore, Odisha, Babina in Jhansi.
- Indian Army has so far not inducted any new artillery guns since Bofors guns.
- It has placed an initial order for 114 Dhanush guns and is expected to order another 400 more.
- Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun.
- It has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata based on requirements of Indian Army and manufactured by Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF).
Interceptor ship commissioned by Indian Coast Guard
- Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned interceptor ship ICGS C 439 at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- The induction will help to further enhance operational capabilities to undertake multifarious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuations along western coast.
- ICGS C 439 is designed by L&T Marine & Ship Design Division, an in-house facility of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Limited.
- It is 27.4 metres long and has 136 tonnes displacement capacity.
- It is powered by twin water-jet propulsion systems to enable quick response.
India, Japan and US start naval exercise off coast of Guam Island
- Trilateral Naval Exercise Malabar 2018 between India, Japan and United States has kicked off the coast of Guam in Philippine Sea.
- This will be 22nd edition of the naval exercise, which has now become an annual feature in deep military ties between India and US.
- It will be first naval war game after US renamed its Hawaii-based Pacific command (PACOM) as Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) amid increased Chinese activities of building artificial islands in South China Sea and sending submarines into Indian Ocean.
China awards its first highest state honour to Russian President Vladimir Putin
- China has awarded its first highest state honour Friendship Medal to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The award has been personally bestowed on Vladimir Putin by Chinese President Xi Jinping in grand ceremony held at Great Hall of the People in capital city of Beijing.
- This was the first time China has awarded medal since it was established in 2015.
- Friendship Medal is conferred by China only on foreigner who has made outstanding contributions in promoting exchange and cooperation between China and world, and in maintaining world peace.
Govt appoints S Ramesh as Chairman of CBIC
- The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed S Ramesh as the Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
- He will succeed present chairman Vanaja N. Sarna who retires in Jun 2018.
- CBIC, headquartered in New Delhi, is the nodal national agency responsible for administering Customs, GST, Central Excise, Service Tax & Narcotics in India.
Virat Kohli will receive Polly Umrigar Award
- Indian captain Virat Kohli will receive the Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer (2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons) at the BCCI awards.
- The award function will be held in Bengaluru on Jun 15, 2018.
- Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana are set to be maiden recipients of the award for best international cricketer (women) for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons respectively.
- The BCCI Awards recognizes and honours the top domestic and international cricketers across all age groups.
India begins campaign at 2018 Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Gifu
- India has begun its campaign at the 2018 Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Gifu, Japan with a strong start by clinching four medals–a gold, a silver and two bronze from 07.
- Ashish Jakhar created a new National U-20 record to clinch the gold medal with a hammer throw of 76.86 in his second attempt while Damneet bagged the silver with a best throw of 74.08.
Dr. Sapan Kumar Murmu passed away
- The renowned doctor and Superintendent of VIMSAR, Dr. Sapan Kumar Murmu has passed away aged 58.
- He started his career at Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) and held various important posts.
Anthony Bourdain passed away
- The United States celebrity chef and television personality, Anthony Bourdain has passed away in Strasbourg, France at the age of 61.
- He was a best-selling food, fiction and nonfiction author.
- He shot to fame in 2000 with a best-selling book ‘Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly’, which is known for its treatment of the professional culinary industry.