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National Current Affairs
Government to expand Logistics Data Bank project to South India
- Government will soon expand operation of Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project to India’s southern region. So far, it had covered only the western logistics corridor.
- Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project was unveiled in July 2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Mumbai with an aim to bring efficiency in the current Logistics & Supply Chain environment through use of information technology that would be helpful for tracking and viewing the movement of containers across the port.
- The LDB is being implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle called Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Logistics Data Services Ltd. (DLDSL)— that is jointly (50:50) owned by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Trust and Japanese IT services major NEC Corporation.
NITI Aayog partners with 6 states to transform Health & Education sectors
- NITI Aayog announced partnership with six states (with three states for health sector reforms and three states for education sector reforms) under its Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) initiative.
- NITI Aayog has selected Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka to improve healthcare delivery and key outcomes in these States.
- For Education sector, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have been selected for support to better learning outcomes.
- Government constitute committee to make drugs more affordable
- The committee will suggest ways to make pricing policy in favour of poor patients.
- The committee would also review the scope of Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013 and suggest ways for strengthening the regulatory provisions of the order.
- The panel will also look at procedural improvements and process of re-engineering in NPPA to ensure better and quicker implementation of the government policy.
- It will bring greater transparencyso as to reduce litigations and review petitions.
Kerala, Haryana top sanitation survey
- Bihar and Uttar Pradesh has least access to toilets compared to other states.
- Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets.
- The Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses
- In Bihar, only 30% of the rural households had access to toilets while Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37%
- Jharkhand has also scored the same as Uttar Pradesh.
International Current Affairs
India ratifies 2nd commitment period of Kyoto Protocol
- India’s Permanent Mission to the Unmentioned that India deposited its Instrument of Acceptance of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol under the UN Convention on Climate Change.
- India has submitted instrument of acceptance of Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol.
- India has become the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international emissions reduction treaty.
India ranks 43rd in Global Retirement Index
- The index ranks total 43 countries on the basis of four factors:
(a)The material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being)
(b) Access to quality health services (Health)
(c) Access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances)
(d) Clean and safe environment (Quality of Life)
- The top three countries in 2017 GRI are Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland.
- 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).
- The purpose of the index is to provide a global benchmark for retirees and future retirees so that they can evaluate and compare the suitability of various nations, and plan their retirement according to their expectations and needs
Citizens of 80 countries including India don’t require visa to enter QATAR
- The Qatari government has announced that citizens belonging to 80 countries including India, Canada, US and UK can now enter Qatar without the need of applying for a visa.
- It has been stated that the visitors from the selected countries would be issued a multi-entry waiver, completely free-of-charge, at the point of entry upon presentation of a valid passport.
- The passportwill have a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
- The waiver will either be valid for 180 days or for 30 days, depending upon the nationality of the visitor.
- The visitor would also be given a window for applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days.
Business & Economy
Vijaya Bank opens self-employment training institute in Indore
- Vijaya Bank has disbursed loan sanction letters to beneficiaries who were trained at the Vijaya Bank Self Employment Training Institute (VIBSETI) in Bhenslay Village, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
- VIBSETI trains youth for starting their own enterprises.
- The bank has sponsored three VIBSETIs at Mandya and Haveri in Karnataka and Indore in Madhya Pradesh, where free residential training is provided to low-income groups/rural youth.
- So far, more than 50,000 candidates have been trained, 70 per cent of whom have set up their own micro enterprises.
Finance Ministry panel to resolve bank pensioner’s issues
- The Department of Financial Services under Ministry of Finance has set up a committee to resolve the pending issues of bank pensioners and retirees.
- The demand of pensioners are these:
- 100 per cent DA neutralization for pre-2002 retirees
- Improvement in family pension, medical insurance and a medical benefit scheme
- Pension updating
- Second options to compulsorily retired officers and resignees who have put in a pensionable service.
Amazon launches Virtual Customer Service in India
- It is an initiative launched to create cost efficient employment prospects for skilled candidates seeking more flexible work opportunities.
- VCS has currently been launched in Hyderabad, Pune, Coimbatore and Noida.
- It is opening up comfortable channels of employment to people and VCS is an opportunity for those who are unable to come to office every day due to personal reasons but are passionate about their work
- This initiative will help many people resume their career and find an earning with the comfort of being at home.
- Amazon also aims to provide and enhance a proficient support experience to customers.
- The virtual customer service would help reduce customer’s effort, make it simpler to detect and quickly resolve the problems.
- It also helps in their needs and educating them on relevant products, programs and services offered by Amazon.
Gujarat first state to implement coal utilization between power units
- Through this auction, Gujarat will transfer the coal allocated to power generating stations.
- It is owned by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) to more fuel-efficient private power plants.
- The aim is to reduce the cost of fuel for financially ailing distribution companies and ensure effective distribution of domestic coal.
- Under the new policy, the coal requirement of a state would be clubbed and assigned to the respective state or state-nominated agencies.
- The reverse auction would be held in September for procuring 1,000 megawatt (Mw) of power.
People in News
Justice Dipak Misra appointed as 45th Chief Justice of India
- He will be replacing incumbent Justice J S Khehar, who is set to retire on August 27, 2017
- Justice Misra will have tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.
- Justice Misra will be the third person from Odisha to be appointed the Chief Justice of India, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.
Environment and Ecology
New Species of Grass Snake Identified in Europe
- The grass snake is among the most common and widespread snakes in Europe and these non-toxic reptiles which can reach a length of up to one meter.
- The barred grass snake is widely distributed throughout Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy and France, and also occurs in the western part of Germany.
- Researchers examined the genetic identity of more than 1,600 grass snakes– many of them scientific museum specimens.
- Now the total number of European grass snakes species has gone up to four.
Sports Current Affairs
Kynan Chenai won Bronze at 7th Asian Shortgun Championship
- Trap shooter and Olympian Kynan Chenai won the bronze medal in the Men’s Trap, at the ongoing 7th Asian Championship Shotgun, being held at Astana, Kazakhstan.
- Kynan first shot 116 out of 125 to qualify for the six-man final round in third position and then held on to it till the end of the finals.
- Abdulrahman Al Faihan of Kuwait wonGold medal and Talal AlRashidi also of Kuwait won Silver Medal.
- Other Indian shooters, Zoravar Singh Sandhuended in 17th place while Birendeep Sodhi finished 36th.
- In the team section, India finished on seventh place. Kuwait won gold, Lebabnon won silver while the UAE won bronze