National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs July 1st Week 2016
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Kerala Govt. decides to ban e-cigarettes.
  • Kerala government has decided to ban `electronic cigarette` in view of studies claiming that its use can cause various health issues, including cancer and heart ailments.
  • E-cigarettes are handy devices that emit doses of vaporized nicotine.
  • A series of studies conducted in the US and Japan has proved that the usage of e-cigarette would cause cancer and heart ailments.
2) HRD ministry Smriti Irani launches education portal `Prashikshak` for teachers.
  • Emphasizing on the need to ensure quality of teachers, HRD minister Smriti Irani Launches a teacher`s education portal `Prashikshak`.
  • `Prashikshak` is launched with a vision to strengthen District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and bring quality teachers into the Indian school education system.
  • Prashikshak is a unique IT initiative, a first of its kind in the country, which will contain a comprehensive database of all DIETs in the country with all relevant performance indicators.
  • It will help benchmark DIETs to enable aspiring teachers to make informed choices about their future. At the same time, it will give the opportunity to Central and State Governments to do real time monitoring of the institutions.
3) NHAI gets green nod for Rs. 1,246 crore UP road upgradation project.
  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has received environment clearance for upgrading the 146 km long carriageway of Kanpur (Chakeri) to Allahabad section of NH-2 in Uttar Pradesh at a cost of Rs. 1,246 crore.
  • Based on the recommendation of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) the Environment Ministry gave environment clearance to the NHAIs proposal.
  • The total length of the proposed road section is 145.31 km, which passes through three districts Kanpur, Fatehpur and Kaushambi in UP.
4) Suresh Prabhu launches NIVARAN portal for employees` grievances redressal.
  • In a pro-workers move, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu launched NIVARAN portal, an online system for redressal of service related grievance of serving and former railway employees.
  • This online system facilitates the employees to lodge their grievances and also monitor their progress.
  • Railways being the single biggest civilian employer in the country with over 13 lakh strong workforce have created a well-structured multi-layered enterprise wide mechanism for addressing staff matters.
5) Minister of Mines Shri Narender Singh Tomar will launch of ``National Mineral Exploration Policy``.
  • It is a consensus amongst geoscientists that India is endowed with large mineral resource and has geological environment for many others on account of similarity of geological set up with Australia, South Africa, South America etc.
  • The MMDR Amendment Act, 2015 has brought in transparency in allocation of mineral concessions in terms of Prospecting License and Mining Lease. The present Non Exclusive Reconnaissance Permit (NERP) which does not allow seamless transitions to prospecting and mining licenses.
  • The private sectors do not seem to be enthused to take up high risk of exploration. National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) prescribes for incentivizing the participation of private companies in exploration.
6) President of India inaugurated a smart model village pilot project at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a smart model village pilot project at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The five villages which will be developed into smart villages under this pilot project are Dhaula, Alipur, Harichandpur and Taj Nagar in Gurgaon district; and Rojka Meo in Mewat district of Haryana.
  • this pilot project on the occasion of the inauguration of the Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) at Rashtrapati Bhavan and the launching of a Mobile App ‘Monitor’ for transformation of President’s Estate into a smart township
7) Railway Ministry to install CCTV cameras at 1000 stations.
  • The Indian railways will be claiming Rs. 500 crore, half of the Nirbhaya fund, to install and maintain CCTV cameras at railway stations around the country. This comes after the government failed to utilize Rs. 1,000 crore allotted to the Nirbhaya fund for women safety projects after the first two years of it being set up.
  • There are roughly about 8000 railway stations in the country, which brings us to 156 CCTV cameras per railway station in the country. But the railways don`t even plan to implement this nationwide! They only plan to equip 1,000 stations - which mean 1250 cameras per station.
8) Rapid Rural Police Response System launched in Punjab.
  • A Rapid Rural Police Response System was launched across Punjab to ensure prompt and effective police response in the state`s over 12,000 villages.
  • Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who launched the scheme, also flagged off 400 new motorcycles and 220 new Bolero jeeps under the new system.
  • Police will respond to any crime or law and order situation within 20 minutes of it being reported. Any resident of a rural area in Punjab can make a call to police helpline 100 for any kind of police assistance. The new round-the-clock system will respond to all kinds of emergencies or `call-for-help`.
9) Ministry grants recognition to Paralympics Committee of India.
  • The Sports Ministry granted recognition to Paralympic Committee of India, giving a huge confidence boost to the several para-athletes who have qualified for Rio Paralympics.
  • The International Paralympics Committee announced temporary lifting of suspension imposed on the national body last year so that Indians can take part under the tri-color in the showpiece event in September.
10) Religious Texts to be included in Haryana School Curriculum.
  • Texts from the holy books of various religions will be incorporated in the curriculum of government schools in Haryana from this month.
  • The subject of moral education which includes religious texts from `Bhagavad Gita` (Hindu religion), `Quran` (Islam), the `Bible` (Christianity) and `Guru Granth Sahib` (Sikhism) will be introduced at a programme to be held in the Kurukshetra University auditorium.
11) Assam to introduce file tracking system for transparency.
  • Assam government has decided to introduce "File tracking" mechanism as part of its effort to bring in transparency in governance and to allow common people track the position of a file.
  • Finance Department will also take recourse to `on-line` system to prepare budget and distribute the same to all offices and maintain a constant link with the Reserve Bank of India through a Core Banking Solution `e-Kuber`.
  • The Chief Minister also stressed on the need for a comprehensive and planned development of the tourism sector in Assam.
12) India’s first Commercial Court and Commercial Disputes Resolution Centre inaugurated in Chhattisgarh.
  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh inaugurated country`s first commercial dispute resolution centre and commercial court in the state capital.
  • Commercial Court will serve as a milestone for resolving law related problems and improving the law functionary in the state.
  • The commercial court is located in Naya Raipur area of the city.
13) Govt launches new initiative to skill workforce for jobs abroad.
  • Ministries of external affairs and skill development & entrepreneurship have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for implementing Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY), a skill development initiative.
  • PKVY will train and certify Indian workforce keen on overseas employment in select sector, in line with international standards. It will be implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through its training partners, in consultation with the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and the skill development ministry.
14) President of India inaugurates swami Vivekananda Sabhagar at Kathak Kendra of Sangeet Natak Academy.
  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Swami Vivekananda Sabhagar at Kathak Kendra of Sangeet Natak Academy in New Delhi.
  • In carrying forward and strengthening the great artistic legacy of India, the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Kathak Kendra have done an exemplary job.
15) Minister of Mines Shri Narender Singh Tomar launches ``National Mineral Exploration Policy``.
  • It is a consensus amongst geoscientists that India is endowed with large mineral resource and has geological environment for many others on account of similarity of geological set up with Australia, South Africa, South America etc.
  • Survey and exploration have been broadly concentrated on surficial and shallow mineral deposits. Exploration for deep and concealed deposits is a cost-intensive and high-risk enterprise which requires state-of-the-art technology and expertise.
16) Kerala government decided to ban `electronic cigarettes`.
  • Kerala government has decided to ban `electronic cigarette` in view of studies claiming that its use can cause various health issues, including cancer and heart ailments.
  • The e-cigarettes are being marketed in Kerala through unauthorized courier services and online sites.
17) Jawaharlal Nehru Port Becomes First Port in Country to Implement Logistics Data Tagging of Containers.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port becomes the first port in the country to implement logistics data tagging of containers. Jawaharlal Nehru Port implemented the logistics data bank tagging of containers, first of its kind facility, which will help importers/ exporters track their goods in transit through logistics data bank service.
  • An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tag) tag would be attached to each container which would be tracked through RIFD readers installed at different locations.
  • This would provide the ‘Visibility’ and `Transparency` of the EXIM Container Movement by covering the entire movement through rail or road till the ICDs (Inland Container Depot) and CFSs (Container Freight Station).
  • This has been one of the important `Ease of Doing Business` initiatives implemented at Jawaharlal Nehru Port focused towards document, time and cost reduction for the benefit of trade 
18) Cabinet approves.
  • MoU between India and Mauritius in the field of Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation.
  • Cabinet approves Redevelopment of seven GPRA colonies in Delhi.
  • Joint issue of postage stamp between Department of Posts and Portugal Post.
  • Cabinet approves Revision of pension of BSNL Pensioners Removing Anomalies.
  • MoU between India and Mozambique in the field of Drug demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and import of pulses through long-term contract.
  • The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 for enabling changing the names of High Courts of Bombay and Madras.
  • Cabinet approves creation of one post of Chief Works Manager in the Mechanical Department on Eastern Railway.
  • Cabinet approves the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme.
  • MoU between India and Tanzania in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.
  • Cabinet approves setting up a Major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu.
19) Cabinet Ministers and MoS portfolios.
  • Cabinet Ministers
  • Venkaiah Naidu: Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
  • Ananth Kumar: Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
  • Prakash Javdekar: Ministry of Human Resource Development
  • Ravi Shankar Prasad: Ministry of Law & Justice
  • Narendra Singh Tomar: Ministry of Rural Development Ministry
  • Smriti Zubin Irani: Ministry of Textiles

Ministers of State

  • Vijay Goel: Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (Independent Charge)
  • Piyush Goyal: Ministry of Mines (Independent Charge)
  • Anil Madhav Dave: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)
  • Santosh Kumar Gangwar: Ministry of Finance
  • Faggan Singh Kulaste: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  • S. Ahluwalia: Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
  • Ramdas Athawale: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  • Rajen Gohain: Ministry of Railways
  • Jayant Sinha: Ministry of Civil Aviation
  • Arjun Ram Meghwal: Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs
  • Mahendra Nath Pandey: Ministry of Human Resource Development
  • Ajay Tamta: Ministry of Textiles
  • Anupriya Patel: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  • R. Chaudhary: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  • P. Chaudhary: Ministry of Law & Justice
20) Mission Indradhanush to next cover 13 MP districts.
  • Thirteen districts in Madhya Pradesh will be covered under the upcoming phase of the Centre`s "Mission Indradhanush" initiative aimed at full immunization of all children in the country.
  • This Workshop organized by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF
  • 53.6% children under two years of age are fully immunized in Madhya Pradesh according to NFHS-IV (National Family Health Survey).
21) TRAI launched an app to track mobile data speed.
  • TRAI Launched an app for measuring real time mobile Internet speed that consumers get. TRAI start the process within a month to frame new service quality norms for wireless data.
  • TRAI had issued service quality benchmark for wireless data earlier but telecom operators have complained that ``law of physics`` does not guarantee minimum speed that they can provide to consumers.
22) Rajasthan becomes first state to introduce minimum wages for part-time workers.
  • Rajasthan has become the first state in the country that has fixed minimum wages for part-time workers and employees. According to major decision taken by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
  • A part-timer employee will certainly get full day salary if he or she completes four hours of duty and will be paid half salary if he or she works for less than four hours. After this landmark decision, part-time workers have now come under Minimum Wages Act 1948.
23) Union Cabinet approves Interest Subvention Scheme for farmers.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the chair approved the interest subvention scheme for farmers for 2016-17.
  • The government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 18,276 crore for this purpose. This will help farmers getting short term crop loan payable within one year up to Rs. 3 lakhs at only 4 per cent per annum.
  • According to the scheme, the central government will provide interest subvention of 5 per cent per annum to all farmers for short term crop loan up to one year for loan up to Rs. 3 lakh borrowed by them during 2016-17.