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National Affairs

1. Himachal Pradesh launches Shaur Nahin mobile application

  • The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur has launched ‘horn not ok’ awareness campaign and ‘Shaur Nahin’ mobile application in Shimla.
  • The objective of the campaign to spread awareness of unnecessary blowing horn as it creates unnecessary noise pollution and is harmful to health.
  • The first phase of the campaign has been launched in Shimla and Manali.

Note:

  • The mobile application is initiative of the department of environmental science and technology in association with National Informatics Centre (NIC), Himachal Pradesh.

2. North East Venture Fund for North Eastern region

  • The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi) under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has set up the North East Venture Fund (NEVF) for North East Region.
  • The capital commitment to the fund is Rs.100.00 crore with an initial contribution of Rs.75.00 crore consisting of Rs.45.00 crore from Ministry of DoNER and Rs.30.00 crore from NEDFi.
  • The balance fund of Rs.25.00 crore has been committed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in-principle.

3. Logo and Tagline for geographical indications launched

  • The Union Commerce and Industry Minister ‘Suresh Prabhu’ has launched a logo and tagline for Geographical Indications (GI) to increase awareness about intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the country.
  • The slogan for the GI tag is- ‘Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India’.
  • A GI product is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

Note:

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.

4. India becomes the third Asian nation to get STA 1 status

  • NSD Logo India has become the third Asian country to get the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) status.
  • The federal notification, issued by the US Administration paves the way for high-technology product sales to New Delhi, particularly in civil space and defence sectors.
  • The action befits India’s status as a Major Defence Partner and recognises the country’s membership in three of the four export control regimes, Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group.
  • The recognition facilitates and supports India’s military modernisation efforts with the US as a reliable provider of advanced defence articles.

5. Govt. distributes 5 crore gas connections

  • According to Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, The Union government has distributed cooking gas connection to five crore beneficiary of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in 27 months instead of 35 months.
  • Sumitra Mahajan (Lok Sabha Speaker) handed over the gas connection to the fifth crore beneficiary of the scheme, Mrs Takdiran of Delhi at a function in Parliament House.
  • Under the scheme, the government provides a subsidy of Rs 1,600 to state-owned fuel retailers for every free LPG gas connection that they install in poor rural households.

Note:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.

6. India elected president of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development

  • India has been elected as the President of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for a period of two years.
  • India got elected against Iran during voting which took place at the 44th annual gathering of AIBD in Colombo.
  • Broadcasters from 26 countries in the region including India are full members of the organization.
  • F. Sheheryar (Director General of All India Radio) was re-elected as chair of the executive board.

Note:

  • The Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) established in 1977 under the auspices of UNESCO.
  • It is a unique regional inter-governmental organisation and is mandated to achieve a vibrant and cohesive electronic media environment in the Asia-Pacific region through policy and resource development.

7. Lok Sabha passes National Sports University Bill

  • The Lok Sabha has passed a Bill establishing a National Sports University in Manipur as part of a vision to enhance country’s standing in sports.
  • The National Sports University Bill, 2018, which sought to replace an Ordinance promulgated on 31th May, was passed by a voice vote.
  • The Bill seeks to set up a specialised university in Manipur to promote sports education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching.
  • The proposed university would also function as the national training centre for select sports disciplines by adopting best international practices.
  • A sportsperson will be the university vice-chancellor, while its academic council will also comprise sports personalities.

8. Three High Court judges appointed as Supreme Court justices

  • According to the Supreme Court notification, the three High court judges have been appointed to the apex court Supreme Court.
  • Three Judges are KM Joseph (Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice), Indira Banerjee (Madras High Court Chief Justice) and Vineet Saran (Orissa High Court Chief Justice).

Note:

  • The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal under the Constitution of India, consisting of the Chief Justice of India and 30 sanctioned other judges.
  • It has extensive powers in the form of original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions.

Banking & Finance

9. Mauritius’s SBM gets RBI approval for subsidiary

  • SBM Group (Mauritius-based) has received Reserve Bank of India’s approval to operate in the country through a wholly-owned subsidiary route.
  • It is the first foreign lender to receive such a licence after local incorporation was introduced in 2013.
  • Earlier, Singapore’s DBS Bank is awaiting final approval from the RBI to convert its 12 branches into a wholly owned subsidiary.

10. NABARD sanctions Rs. 772 Crore for water projects in Haryana

  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs 772 crore for eight water projects in the rural areas of Haryana.
  • Works on these projects, which will supply water to 256 villages and 72 hamlets, are in progress.
  • The state government has sent three more project proposals, costing Rs 236.85 crore, to NABARD for financial assistance.
  • The state government was getting financial assistance from the National Capital Region Planning Board to modernise the sewerage system in urban areas.

Science & Defence

11. World’s 1st Hindi-speaking Robot ‘Rashmi’

  • Software developer Ranjit Srivastava (38-year) has developed the world’s first Hindi-speaking humanoid robot ‘Rashmi’ claimed to cost just Rs 50,000.
  • AI-powered robot ‘Rashmi’ can speak Hindi, Bhojpuri and Marathi along with English and is equipped with facial expressions and recognition systems.
  • Rashmi uses linguistic interpretation (LI), artificial intelligence (AI), visual data and facial recognition systems.
  • The LI programme analyses the feeling of the conversation while AI program analyses the conversation to extract the response from the device.
  • He was inspired to create Rashmi after seeing Hong Kong-made humanoid ‘Sophia’ in 2016.

 ‘Thoughts of the day’

“So many of our dreams seen impossible, then improbable, then inevitable

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