National Current Affairs
July 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Union Government launches Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan.

  • Union Government has launched a national campaign Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan in a bid to create awareness and capacity building on Safe and Hygienic food for all.
  • About Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan
  • Objective: It will ensure the safe food to consumers apart from providing them Food security in order to address the food requirements. Initiated under the brand name of Jago Grahak Jago, which is mass awareness campaign which creates awareness of consumer rights and demands.
  • Planned by: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) along with Consumer Organization VOICE and National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI).
  • Initiatives: It will include hygiene & sanitation for safe food, informative sessions on cleaning, walkathons and awareness by information dissemination through media programmes for consumers and street food industries.
2) CCEA extends CCTNS deadline to March 2017.
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has extended the deadline for implementation of Crime and Criminals Tracking network and Systems (CCTNS) project till March 2017.
  • CCEA also approved additional five years phase for operation and maintenance of the CCTNS up to March 2022.
  • About CCTNS Project
  • It is an ambitious online system and central citizen portal that will link all state-level citizen websites under single platform.
  • The services will include reporting a crime, police verification for passports, linkages with UIDAI, transport database and National Population Register.
  • Linking of Police stations: All police stations across the country will be connected with each other in order to exchange information and to access to criminal and crime related database from across the country.
  • National-level crime analytics: It can be performed on real time basis which will help law makers and policy makers in taking appropriate and timely action.
3) 14 States, UTs achieve literacy rate of 80%: Government.
  • Union Government has announced that 14 States and Union Territories (UTs) have achieved or exceeded the literacy rate of 80 percent.
  • 14 States and UTs are: Kerala, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Goa, Tripura, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, NCR of Delhi, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.
  • Union Government’s flagship scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has helped to improve literacy rate.
  • The literacy of adults has been covered under the Saakshar Bharat Programme.
4) India ranks 12th in terms of power generation from nuclear source.
  • India has been placed at 12th position among the 31 countries in the world in terms of power (electricity) generation from nuclear source.
  • The data was published by the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, India was placed at 6th position in terms of number of reactors in operation country-wise.
Current status of Indian nuclear energy programme:
  1. Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) Units I and II and Kudankulam Units III and IV are expected to be launched by end of 2015.
  2. 1 Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) of 500 MW capacity is in the stage of commissioning at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. While, construction of 2 more FBR I and II of 600 MW capacity each are also planned at Kalpakkam.
  3. In order to meet, nuclear fuel demand India has signed nuclear agreements with number of countries including US, Canada, Kazakhstan, Russia, France, Australia, Namibia, Mongolia, South Korea, Argentina, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.
5) Supreme Court rejects Centre’s review plea seeking OBC status for Jats.
  • Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the review pleas filed by the Union Government and Jat organisations seeking OBC status to the Jat community.
  1. Then UPA II government in 2014 had granted OBC status to the Jat community in terms of socially and educationally backwardness for reservation in jobs and educational institution.
  2. NCBC Report: In its report, NCBC had mentioned that community is not socially and educationally backward, but it is entitled to a share in 27% OBC quota in jobs and admission to educational institutions.
  3. The NCBC also had mentioned that Jat community is adequately represented in armed forces, government services and educational institutions.
  4. SC Ruling: In March 2015, Supreme Court had struck down this controversial decision of Union Government by declaring it unconstitutional and had termed it as a reflection of negative and retrograde governance. Later, NDA government also defended the UPA’s decision in the Supreme Court.
6) Pranab Mukherjee nominates Professor Richard Hay and George Baker as Anglo-Indian Community to Lok Sabha.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed 2 members of Anglo-Indian Community to Lok Sabha.
  • Nominted Persons are
  • Professor Richard Hay: He hails from Kerala. Presently, he teaches economics in various academic institutes in India as well as abroad.
  • George Baker: He hails from West Bengal and is actor by profession. Presently, he is member of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
Article 331: Representation of the Anglo-Indian Community in Lok Sabha:
  1. It says that President may appoint two members from Anglo-Indian Community to Lok Sabha.
  2. Lok Sabha shall consists of 530 directly elected representatives from states and 20 directly elected representatives from Union Territories. Thus, the total strength of Lok Sabha is 552 including two members of Anglo-Indian Community.
7) FSSAI proposed Draft on regulating sale of Health Supplements and Nutraceuticals.
  • Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) proposed draft Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2015.
  • FSSAI may ban the trade of these foods if it is found that the food being placed in the market is nor clearly distinguishable from the foods for normal consumption or are not suitable for their claimed nutritional purpose or may endanger the human health.
Key points in proposed draft:
  1. Every package of food or health supplements shall carry the words FOOD or HEALTH SUPPLEMENT and the term ‘NOT FOR MEDICINAL USE’ shall be prominently written on the label.
  2. No hormones or steroids or psychotropic ingredients shall be added in these foods.
  3. India accounts for 1.5 per cent of the global nutraceuticals market. Heinz, Kellogg`s, Nestle, Hormel, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals are key players in this segment.
8) Supreme Court allowed States to release life convicts.
  • The Supreme Court of India allowed state governments to exercise its power of remission to release life convicts with a rider. 
  • However, the apex court rule some exceptions to which this decision will not apply. 
These are:
  1. Cases probed by central agencies like CBI and for those incarcerated under central laws such as Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act(TADA). 
  2. Cases wherein the convict has been awarded life term in sexual offence cases of rape and murder.
  3. Rajiv Gandhi assassination case in which the Centre`s plea against the Tamil Nadu Government`s decision to grant remission for release of the seven life convicts is under consideration.
  4. Maharashtra Cabinet Approves Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Jan Van Vikas Scheme.
9) Maharashtra Cabinet approved Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Jan Van Vikas Scheme.
  • It aims at creation of comprehensive development of villages in the buffer zones of tiger reserves and around them.
  • Its objectives are to reduce the man-animal conflict and achieve sustainable development of these villages. The scheme also aims at reducing the dependence of villagers on the forest.
  • The scheme will seek to boost the supplementary businesses to farming activities and create alternative employment possibilities in these areas.
  • The scheme will be launched on project basis from 2015-16 to 2019-2020.


10) Union Government launches Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana in Patna.

  • Union Government launched Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DUGJY) in Patna, Bihar.
  • The flagship scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to provide 24×7 uninterrupted electricity supply to each rural household across the country by 2022.
About Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DUGJY):
  1. The major components of the new scheme are strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution network, feeder separation, Metering at all levels including at input points, feeders and distribution transformers.
  2. It also seeks to strengthen Micro grid and off grid distribution network of rural electrification.
  3. It should be noted that, this scheme replaces Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).
Apart from launching this scheme:
  1. Prime Minister also Flagged off Patna-Mumbai AC Suvidha Express and Rajgir-Bihar Sharif-Daniawan-Fatuha passenger train.
  2. Inaugurated the Daniawan-Bihar Sharif new railway line.
  3. Inaugurated campus of Indian Institute of Technology, Patna Campus.
11) Maharashtra govt to develop six solar cities targeting solar capacity of 7,500 MW.
  • Maharashtra government has placed a comprehensive plan to develop six solar cities in order to add solar capacity of 7,500 MW in the state.
  • To enhance solar capacity in country Centre has planned to develop 55 solar cities across the country among them six are from Maharashtra these are – Nagpur, Thane, Aurangabad, Kalyan-Dombivli, Shirdi and Nanded.
  • The selection of these cities was done on basis of the population.
  • To meet the increasing demand for power Maharashtra government has targeted to add 14,400 MW through renewable energy source.
12) Union Government, 3 states to start artificial breeding of Great Indian Bustard.
  • Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the 3 state government’s viz. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra will soon start an artificial breeding programme of Great Indian Bustard (GIB) to boost the population of GIB, one of the critically endangered flying bird species in the world.
Artificial breeding programme of GIB:
  • Technical expertise: Regarding the breeding programme, will be provided by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), an autonomous institution of the MoEFCC.
  • WII will provide expertise in planning, breeding, conserving, hatching of egg of GIB along with scientific information related to the ecology of the species, its functional dynamics, physiology and behavioural aspects.
About Great Indian Bustard (GIB):
  1. Scientific name: Ardeotis Nigriceps.
  2. Protection Status: Critically Endangered (CR) species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data Book.
13) PM launches new scheme for power reforms in rural areas.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the `Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana` for power sector reforms in rural areas with a view to ensuring round the clock electricity supply to farmers and rural households.
  • The scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Power Ministry and will facilitate 24x7 supply of electricity.
  • The earlier scheme for rural electrification, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), which was launched by previous UPA government, has been subsumed in the new scheme as its rural electrification component.
  • A total of Rs. 14,680 crore worth projects have already been approved out of which projects amounting to Rs. 5,827 crore have been approved for Bihar state.

14) Centre approves Rs. 1,000 crore for India-Bangladesh rail link.

  • The Indian government has sanctioned around Rs. 1,000 crore for a 15 km India-Bangladesh railway project.
  • The 1,650 km distance between Agartala and Kolkata would be reduced to 515 km once the rail track is constructed through Bangladesh.
  • It will improve trade and commerce between north east region of India and Bangladesh
15) Police verification for passports set to go online in Bengaluru.
  • Bengaluru is to be chosen by the Centre to get police verification online for passports as part of the implementation of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS).
  • Applicants could get a passport in 10 days or less, as police verification is touted as the major cause for delay in the entire process.
  • As opposed to the earlier process of police personnel visiting an applicant’s home to verify his/her details, they can now simply log into the database online and match the details.
  • The pilot online verification process system will give both the police and the RPO details of applicants.
  • The main advantage will be that it will make the process faster.
  • While the police will have access to our database, through which they can see travel documents of those with a criminal record, we too will be able to know about such applicants.
16) E-tourist visa to Chinese nationals from July 30, 2015.
  • Union Government has announced to roll out e-tourist visa facility to Chinese nationals from July 30, 2015. Hong Kong and Macao nationals will also be provided with e-tourist visa facility along with Chinese citizens.
  • It should be noted that PM Modi had made this announcement notwithstanding frequent issuance of stapled visa by Chinese to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
About e-tourist visa facility:
  1. It is pre-authorization of Visa i.e. electronic travel authorisation given to foreigners prior to travel.
  2. Under this scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him/her to travel to India after it is approved.
  3. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who will in turn allow them to enter into the country.
  4. The nomenclature of scheme was changed to present e-tourist visa facility in April 2015, in order to remove ambiguities faced by foreign tourists especially by scheme’s previous nomenclature ‘tourist visa on arrival (VoA)’.
17) Tripura government launches pension for transgenders.
  • The Tripura government has introduced a pension scheme for transgenders.
  • The Council of Ministers to a pay a monthly pension to women domestic workers and patients suffering from leprosy and AIDS.
  • Monthly pension up to Rs. 500 would be given to transgenders. The State government was currently sponsoring 20 pension schemes that benefited more than one lakh people.
  • This scheme was providing social security to the underprivileged, the deprived and patients.
18) Gujarat makes voting compulsory in local body polls.
  • Gujarat became the first state to have a provision for compulsory voting with the state government.
  • Besides making voting mandatory in the local body polls, the communiqué, dated July 17, announced the reservation of 50 per cent seats for women in municipal corporations, municipalities, and village panchayats.
  • With the government notifying the Gujarat Local Authorities Act(Amendment) 2009, a voter in the state would invite punitive action in case he or she fails to vote in the local body elections without any acceptable reason.
19) Compulsory Testing of Packaged Food Products.
  • As per the conditions of license prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards, all food business operators have to ensure testing of relevant chemical and/or microbiological contaminants in food products to ensure production and delivery of safe food through NABL accredited/ Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) notified labs at least once in six months.
20) SC upheld the commutation of death sentence of convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
  • The Supreme Court of India (SC) dismissed a curative petition of Union Government against commutation of the death penalty of three convicts namely Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
  • The Union Government told the apex court that no mercy could be shown to the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as opposed to the Tamil Nadu government`s move to set free seven convicts by granting them remission of sentence.
  • Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated as a result of a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, in Tamil Nadu on 21 May 1991.
21) CCI imposed penalty upon three Film & TV association of Karnataka.
  • For indulging in anti-competitive practices, fair trade regulator CCI has imposed a total penalty of Rs. 20 lakh on three Karnataka-based groupings - including television and Kannada film producers associations.
  • They have also been directed to "cease and desist" from unfair business practices.
  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has penalised Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), Karnataka Television Association (KTVA) and Kannada Film Producers Association (KFPA).
  • The case pertained to allegations that these entities indulged in anti-competitive activities by not allowing the release and broadcast of any dubbed content, within Karnataka.
22) Union Cabinet approved Rajya Sabha panel`s amendments on GST Bill, 2014.
  • The Union Cabinet approved amendments proposed by Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014.
  • The Rajya Sabha Select Committee suggested that compensation to the states should be made for 5 years instead of up to 5 years for any revenue loss due to introduction of GST.
  • The Constitution Amendment Bill for a Goods and Services Tax (GST) will replace all indirect taxes like excise and sales tax on all products expect alcohol has already been passed by the lok sabha and is pending in the passage in the upper house.
Other Cabinet decisions:
  1. The cabinet approved a comprehensive anti-hijack bill that provides for death penalty for hijackers even in the event of on-ground staff casualties.
  2. The Cabinet also gave its nod for creation of 20000 crore rupees National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) for development of infrastructure projects. It also gave its approval to foreign investment in the Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) for facilitating domestic investment.
23) Bihar declares `Manjhi` tax-free.
  • The Bihar government has decided to give tax exemption to the film Manjhi - The Mountain Man.
  • The movie was based on the inspiring life of Dasrath Manjhi of Gaya district who had carved a path through the mountain using only a hammer and chisel for 22 years.
  • Directed by Ketan Mehta.
  • Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte played the role of Manjhi and his wife Falguni Devi.
24) Government revises scheme for Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.
  • The scheme aims for the comprehensive socio-economic development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • Under the Scheme, priority has been accorded for the protection of PVTGs and their improvement in terms of the social indicators like education, health, nutrition and livelihood in order to decrease their vulnerability.
  • Financial assistance under this scheme will be utilized for activities like housing, agricultural development, land distribution and land development, animal husbandry, installation of non-conventional sources of energy, construction of link roads or other innovative activity.
25) Delhi government notifies Witness Protection Scheme 2015.
  • With this, Delhi becomes the first state/ union territory in India to notify such policy to ensure protection of witnesses in crucial cases.
  • It deals categorisation of witnesses, types of protection, creation of witness protection fund, and procedure for processing such request by the competent authority.
Key facts of Witness Protection Scheme 2015:
  1. Prohibits revealing or publication of name, address and other details of witness in any manner, directly or indirectly.
  2. Change identity of a witness inorder to protect identity of a witness and relocating the person.
  3. Facility for live link and in-camera proceedings to help witness to depose without coming to court.
  4. Protection measures like installing security devices at the witness house and guarding it, providing escort vehicles to the witness.
26)Nagpur-Mumbai super expressway to bring down travel time to 10 hours.
  • The Maharashtra government announced an ambitious Communication Super Express Way mega project between Mumbai and Nagpur worth Rs. 30,000 crore.
  • The ambitious project would connect backward regions of Vidarbha, marathwada and North Maharashtra drastically reduce the distance between Nagpur-Mumbai travel to 10 hours.