Daily Current Affairs (English) - 07.07.2018

NATIONAL

MP GOVT LAUNCHES OUTSTANDING POWER BILL WAIVER SCHEME ‘SAMBAL’

In Madhya Pradesh, the government has launched an outstanding power bill waiver scheme and subsidised power scheme ‘Sambal’ for labourers and poor families. Under the scheme, the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would be provided electricity at a cost of 200 rupees per month. AIR correspondent reports that the objective of this scheme to make sure that all the households have power facility in the state. One crore 83 lakh workers registered under Sambal Yojana in the state till now. Under this scheme, outstanding electricity bill worth  five thousand 179 crores  rupees is to be waived off. Under the subsidised power  segment of this scheme, registered labourers of the unorganised sector and Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would be provided electricity at a cost of 200  rupees per month while Power connection would be provided free of cost to the beneficiaries.


ICAT RELEASES FIRST BS-VI ENGINE CERTIFICATE

ICAT has completed the first BS-VI certification for a heavy duty engine model for M/s Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicle Limited. The engine has been developed and manufactured indigenously by Volvo Eicher in India. The successful completion of the compliance test of the engine, much ahead of the implementation date of 1 April, 2020, gives sufficient time for product stabilization in terms of making it more robust and cost competitive for the end consumers. The pro-active approach from the Government of India has made the country leapfrog from the conventional BS-IV to directly adopt BS-VI emission norms as the next level for regulatory framework in India.

The BS-VI emission standards are much more elaborate in their scope and integrate substantial changes to existing emission standards ensuring cleaner products to the consumer. Besides the more stringent limits on the gaseous emission components, the particulate matter (PM) limits have also been significantly reduced along with the introduction of particle number (PN) limits. The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) is a division of NATRiP implementation society (NATIS), under the administrative control of Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India.ICAT is one of the prime testing agencies recognized by the Government of India as one of the accredited 'Type Approval and Homologation' agencies in India under Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR).

TRADE & ECONOMY

BANK OF CHINA GETS RBI LICENSE TO LAUNCH OPERATIONS IN INDIA

The RBI has issued a licence to China’s largest bank to set up operations in India. The Bank of China will soon open a branch here, said sources. This had been one of the commitments made by India during a meeting between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping in Wuhan and Qingdao. The 106-year-old bank is one of the biggest lenders in China. It is listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges and has a market capitalisation of $165 billion. This is the second Chinese lender to secure a licence to open a branch in India. In 2011, RBI had granted a banking licence to ICBC, which has opened a branch in Mumbai.

India and China have been focusing on expanding their economic ties notwithstanding differences on several sticky issues including on the boundary dispute. After last year's Doklam standoff, both the countries have stepped up dialogue at various levels to reset the ties.several foreign banks, including the Bank of China, have sought RBI’s permission to set up operations in India. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) already has operations in India along with 44 other foreign banks, according to the RBI.


CABINET APPROVES THE INCREASE OF MSP FOR 14 KHARIF CROPS

The Centre hiked on Wednesday the minimum support price (MSP) of 14 kharif (summer sown) crops for the 2018-19 marketing season, syncing it with BJP’s 2014 poll promise to provide farmers a profit margin of at least 50% over their cost of production for all the notified crops across the country. Seven of these 14 crops have reported hikes of nearly 20% or more as compared to the MSP of these crops in 2017-18. The most popular kharif crop, paddy, has, however, got a hike of nearly 13% (from Rs 1,550 per quintal in 2017-18 to Rs 1,750 per quintal in 2018-19).

The MSP of cotton (medium staple) has been increased to Rs 5,150 from Rs 4,020 and that of cotton (long staple) to Rs 5,450 from 4,320 per quintal. In pulses, tur MSP has been raised to Rs 5,675 per quintal from Rs 5,450, and that of moong to Rs 6,975 per quintal from Rs 5,575. Urad MSP has been hiked to Rs 5,600 from Rs 5,400 per quintal. Hike in paddy MSP will increase the food subsidy bill by over Rs 11,000 crore based on procurement figure of the 2016-17 marketing year.The MSP decided in Wednesday's meeting will largely apply to paddy and pulses but will benefit ‘nutri-cereals’ like millets the most. The added cost of MSP is 0.2 percent of GDP, according to the cabinet note. The share of paddy in the additional outgo will be around Rs 12,300 crore.

SPORTS

SPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA SET TO BE RENAMED AS SPORTS INDIA

the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is set to be renamed as Sports India, Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore announced on Wednesday after the sports body's governing body meeting here. "Sports Authority of India is being renamed. The word authority is being removed. It will be known as Sports India now," Rathore said after the meeting even as the press release issued by SAI had no mention of the change in name being approved. The sports body, established in 1984.

Science & Tech

SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT TESTING OF CREW ESCAPE SYSTEM - TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATOR

The Indian Space Research Organisation on Thursday successfully carried out a flight test for a newly-designed Crew Escape System, meant for saving lives of astronauts in an exigency. The space agency said it was the first in a series of tests to ascertain the trustworthiness and efficiency of the Crew Escape System. The system is an emergency measure designed to quickly pull away the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle if the mission gets aborted. The first 'Pad Abort Test' demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad, the Indian Space Research Organisation said in a release.

After a smooth five-hour countdown, the Crew Escape System along with the simulated crew module lifted off at 7.00am from its pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. Nearly 300 sensors recorded various mission performance parameters during the test flight, it said, adding that three boats are being readied to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.

APPOINTMENTS

VISHWAS PATEL

Payments Council of India (PCI), an apex body representing companies in payments and settlement system, has a new Chairman in Vishwas Patel. Patel, who is Director at Infibeam Avenues, has been associated with PCI since its inception in 2013 and was serving as the co-Chairman of PCI. He takes over from Naveen Surya, who has been elevated to the post of Chairman Emeritus.

Do You Know?

  • The Payments Council of India (PCI) was formed under the aegis of IAMAI in the year 2013 catering to the needs of the digital payment industry.
  • PCI works closely with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Finance Ministry and any similar government, departments, bodies or Institution to make ‘India a less cash society’.

L. NARASIMHA REDDY

The union cabinet has approved the appointment of Rtd. Justice L. Narasimha Reddy (former chief Justice Patna HC) as the Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). Justice Reddy served as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court from 2nd January to 31st July 2015. He was the one-man judicial commission appointed by the Centre to look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.