National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs July 4th Week 2018
Category : National Current Affairs
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1. Government Sets Up High Level Committee To Check Mob Lynching.

Government is concerned at the incidents of violence by mobs in some parts of the country. Government has already condemned such incidents and made its stand clear in the Parliament that it is committed to upholding the rule of law and adopting effective measures to curb such incidents.

As per the Constitutional scheme, `Police` and `Public Order` are State subjects. State Governments are responsible for controlling crime, maintaining law and order, and protecting the life and property of the citizens. They are empowered to enact and enforce laws to curb crime in their jurisdiction.

Accordingly, Ministry of Home Affairs has, from time to time, issued advisories to States/UTs for maintenance of public order and prevention of crime in their areas of jurisdiction. An advisory on addressing the issue of lynching by mob on suspicion of child lifting was issued on 04.07.2018. Earlier, an advisory was issued on 09.08.2016 on disturbances by miscreants in the name of protection of cow.


Government respects the recent directions of the Supreme Court on the issue of mob violence, and has issued an advisory to State Governments urging them to take effective measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching and to take stringent action as per law. The State Governments have been advised to implement the directions issued in the matter by the Supreme Court on July 17, 2018.


2. Government Reduced Minimum Annual Deposit Under Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme.

The government has slashed the minimum annual deposit requirement for accounts under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana to Rs 250 from Rs 1,000 - a move that will enable more number of people to take advantage of the girl child savings scheme. The government amended the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules - 2016 to state that the minimum initial deposit to open the account would be Rs 250.

Sukanya Samriddhi scheme was launched in 2015. Till November 2017, more than 1.26 crore accounts were opened across the country securing an amount of Rs 19,183 crore.

Under the scheme, a parent or legal guardian can open an account in the name of the girl child until she attains the age of ten years. The account can be opened in any post office branch and designated public sector banks. After the recent change, the minimum deposit that needs to be made every year is Rs 250 and the maximum amount that can be deposited in a year is Rs 1.5 lakh. There is no limit on the number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year. 

The account opened under the scheme will be valid for 21 years from the date of opening, after which it will mature and the money will be paid to the girl child in whose name the account is opened. If the account is not closed after maturity, the balance amount will continue to earn interest as specified for the scheme from time to time.

The account will also automatically close if the girl child gets married before the completion of the tenure of 21 years. Deposits can be made up to 14 years from the date of opening of the account. After this period the account will only earn interest as per applicable rates.

Premature withdrawal - withdrawing money before the completion of the maturity period of 21 years - can only be made by the girl child in whose name the account has been opened after she attains the age of 18 years.

This withdrawal will also be limited to 50 per cent of the balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year, and will only be allowed for the purpose of higher education or if the girl intends to get married. In order to make a withdrawal, the account should have a deposit of at least 14 years or more.

A parent can open only one account per girl child, and a maximum of two such bank accounts in the name of two girl children. In case of twin girls as second birth, or if the first birth itself results in the birth of three girl children, three bank accounts can be opened in the name of three girl children.

The banks that have been authorised to open accounts under the scheme are: State Bank of India, Vijaya Bank, United Bank of India, Union Bank of India, UCO Bank, Syndicate Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, Dena Bank, Corporation Bank, Central Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, Andhra Bank and Allahabad Bank.


3. NITI Aayog Signs SoI With Lupin Foundation For Collaborating In Aspirational Districts.

A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed today between NITI Aayog and Lupin Foundation to collaborate in Aspirational Districts Programme. The SoI was signed by Shri Yaduvendra Mathur, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog and Shri Sita Ram Gupta, Executive Director, Lupin Foundation.  

For this programme, the NITI Aayog and Lupin Foundation are collaborating to improve indicators in education, health & nutrition, financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic infrastructure in Aspirational Districts of India.

As per the terms of the SoI, Lupin Foundation, with the NITI Aayog, will work in three states - Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan - to facilitate the creation of an ideal template to develop economic strength, technological viability and moral leadership across three districts in these states as part of Phase I of the cooperation.

Phase I of this cooperation with NITI Aayog will focus on the districts of Dholpur in Rajasthan, Nandurbar in Maharashtra and Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh, and help develop a comprehensive district-level action plan with integrates various initiatives and interventions.

Lupin Foundation will work towards three main pillars of ensuring integrated developmental policy in the model states – social development, which will include initiatives for health, education and women empowerment; economic empowerment, focussing interventions in spheres of agriculture, animal husbandry and skill enhancement; and infrastructure development, where Lupin will loop to establish durable infra in the form of internal roads, school buildings and water resources.


4. WCD Ministry Launches ‘Childline1098’ Contest.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched a contest, #Childline1098, inviting people to share images of the Childline 1098 logo that they spot at unique locations and send it with a tagline, to mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30.

CHILDLINE is India`s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance. At present, it is operational at 450 locations. As Railways often act as carriers of trafficked children, the Ministry signed an MoU with the Ministry of Railways to rescue and rehabilitate runaway, abandoned, kidnapped and trafficked children via Railways. The Ministry launched an awareness campaign via posters in railway coaches in November, 2015, and around 2 lakh posters have been put in trains which caution passengers about children around them who may need protection.

"Whether you are a concerned adult or a child, you can dial 1098, the toll free number to access our services. We not only respond to the emergency needs of children but also link them to services for their long-term care and rehabilitation," said Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Hon`ble Union Minister for Women and Child Development, while adding that such online contests were a means to connect with citizens and engage them in spreading information about this great initiative towards curbing trafficking.


5. 2nd Meeting Of National Council On India’s Nutrition Challenges Held In New Delhi.

The first meeting of National Council on India`s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyaan was held today in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog. The Council which has been set up under POSHAN Abhiyaan is the apex body to formulate overall policies, guide and monitor all nutrition based schemes. The mandate of the Council is:

1. To provide policy directions to address India’s Nutrition Challenges through coordinated inter-sectoral action

2. To coordinate and review convergence among ministries

3. To review programmes for nutrition on a quarterly basis

The Council will submit its report to the Prime Minister every six months.

Sh.Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution , Sh.Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of  State(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs, State  Ministers of WCD from the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, Secretaries of Central Government and District Collectors of eight districts attended the meeting and deliberated on the implementation of the Abhiyaan. Shri Ram Vilas Paswan stressed that mothers should be involved through Self Help groups for distribution of Take home ration in Anganwadi Centres.


6. Indian Air Force To Participates In Australia’s ‘Pitch Black Exercise’.

An Indian Air Force contingent landed at the Darwin Air Force Base in Australia on Tuesday to participate in a multinational air exercise, the IAF said in a statement.

The IAF contingent comprised of four Su-30 MKI fighter jets, one C-130 and one C-17 transporter aircraft, it said.

Exercise Pitch Black, a biennial large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), involves over 100 aircraft from around the globe and will provide a unique opportunity to the air-warriors to operate in a dynamic warlike environment.

"After the recently-concluded Exercise Gaganshakti-2018, the IAF`s engagement with the Indonesian and the Malayasian Air Forces and participation in the Exercise Pitch Black-18 in Australia, the IAF will once again showcase its capability to be an effective net security provider in the region," it said in a statement.

Navigating across the ocean, precise air-to-air engagement with tanker aircraft and ability to operate over the international airspace reaffirms that the Indian Air Force would always play the cutting edge of our nation`s military capability, the statement added.

As part of the commonwealth countries, India and Australia have always enjoyed amicable bilateral relations. The air forces of both the countries have participated in the World War II.

"Su-30 MKI aircraft flew across the ocean to once again demonstrate our strategic reach and professionalism. As part of the military diplomacy and reassuring our neighbours of our commitment to regional peace and security, while en-route to Australia, the IAF engaged with the Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces," the statement added.


7. KTDC Launches Country`s 1st State-Run All-Woman Hotel.

Work on India`s public sector hotel run entirely by women for women, claimed to be the first such in the country, was launched by state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran.

A flagship project of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), the hotel named `Hostess` will come up within six months at the KTDC complex at the main bus station in the heart of the city, adjacent to the central railway station.

The project was a `milestone initiative` of KTDC, considering its purpose, security features and facilities of global standards at affordable rates, the minister said.

"There are many services being offered by KTDC which are affordable to common people and facilities at `Hostess` at economic rates are expected to be of global standards," he said.

Tourism was a priority sector for the state, he said and lauded the KTDC initiatives to create top class facilities for visitors.

"The government has given administrative sanction of Rs 17.5 crore to set up a 42-room budget hotel at Kanyakumari. The nod of local self-government institutions in Tamil Nadu is awaited to start the work," he said.

Listing other key projects on the anvil, he said about Rs 39.6 crore has been sanctioned through KIFBI for development works at Muzhappilangad beach near Kannur and Rs 7.69 crore for `Kumarakom waterscapes` through destination development.

Presiding, KTDC chairman M Vijayakumar said the all-woman hotel was the first such initiative from a government institution in the country.

"We give more emphasis on security and safety features besides comfort and convenience. If it becomes a success here, similar hotels will be set up in other cities of the state," he said.