National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs July 5th Week 2018
Category : National Current Affairs
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 1. PM Modi Launched Projects Worth Rs60,000 Crore In Lucknow.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Lucknow on Saturday, inaugurated 81 investment projects worth Rs 60,000 crore. This is Modi’s fifth visit in the past one month to Uttar Pradesh, a state crucial to the BJP’s prospects ahead of next year’s general elections. The projects were pledged to the state during the UP Investor’s Summit in February.

Eighty industrialists, including major firms such as Birla, Reliance and Adani, attended the ceremony alongside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. On Saturday, Modi laid the foundation stones and inaugurated 99 urban development projects for Uttar Pradesh worth Rs 3,897 crore. He also gave away different awards on the occasion to mark three years of the government’s flagship programmes.


2. Dharmendra Pradhan Laid Foundation Stone Of Permanent Campus For NSTI, Women In Mohali.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today laid the foundation stone of the National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) for Women here.

At present, the NSTI operates out of a temporary campus in Rajpura.

The people of Punjab were naturally gifted in skills of various kinds and the state was a leader in many fields, the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said.

“The challenge is to match the skills with the needs of the time and latest economic necessities,” he said, adding that the Mohali centre would be developed into ‘Trainers Training Institute’ It would go a long way in setting the skill standards in the country and creating skilled youth suitable for employment, he added.

Pradhan said the NSTI scheme was planned in 2015 and was being implemented in almost all parts of the country. The institute would not only be imparting training in traditional fields for women like beauty care, cosmetology and fashion design but also in other areas. The land for the Mohali NSTI was given by farmers of village Saneta and the cost of the project was Rs 17 crore, the minister said.

Besides, the minister also launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) that would impart education to differently-abled people. Pradhan said it was the endeavour of the Central government that each district of the country should have a PMKK centre. At the Mohali PMKK, differently-abled as well as able-bodied people will get access to education, the minister said.

The NSTI and PMKK were launched as part of the ‘Skill India’ campaign under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pradhan said.


3. NGT Forms Monitoring Committee For Clean Yamuna Project.

The National Green Tribunal on July 26, 2018 formed a monitoring committee on the cleaning of the Yamuna River.

The tribunal headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson A K Goel directed the committee to develop an action plan on the same and submit it by September 2018 and submit a detailed report on the issue by December 31, 2018. 

Composition of the committee

The green panel has appointed retired expert member B S Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra as members of the committee.


4. High-Level Empowered Committee Formed To Address Issues Of Stressed Thermal Power Projects.

The Government has decided to set up a high level empowered committee headed by cabinet secretary P K Sinha and representation from the ministries of railways, finance, power, coal and banks having major exposure to the power sector to revive stressed thermal power projects. 

ET had on July 25 reported that the government may recommend more time for stressed power companies in the next hearing in Allahabad High Court on Aug 2 and is mulling setting up a high-level committee to address cross-sectoral issues including delayed payment of private power companies. 

An official statement released on Sunday evening said the Committee would look into various issues with a view to resolve them and maximise the efficiency of investment including changes required to be made in the fuel allocation policy and regulatory framework. 


5. Unified Commanders’ Conference 2018 Starts In New Delhi.

The two-day Unified Commanders` Conference (UCC) for the year 2018 will be held on July 30 and July 31, 2018, at New Delhi.  The Annual Conference provides a platform for discussions at the Apex Level on all `Joint Issues` amongst the three Services and Ministry of Defence and enables stock-taking of the previous year and planning the way ahead for the next year.

The Conference will be conducted under the tutelage of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) and will be attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, State Defence Minister, National Security Advisor, the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force and other Senior Military and Civil Officials of the Ministry of Defence and Tri-Service Organisations/Institutions.

The scope of this conference has been enhanced this year to enable the forum to facilitate joint stock-taking of the previous year`s performance of all Services and Departments of Ministry of Defence and jointly chart the course for the next year.  The forum will feature addresses by the Defence Minister, the Services Chiefs, Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff, Commander-in-Chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command, Defence Secretary and all Heads of Departments of MoD.

During the conference, under the chairmanship of the Chief of Integrated Staff (CISC), a large number of Tri-Services issues would be deliberated thoroughly to arrive at solution to challenges faced and to evolve plans for the future.


6. Meghalaya Milk Mission Launched In Shillong.

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has announced a Rs 215-crore project through the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) for Meghalaya Milk Mission for various training under dairy farm, chilling centre and purchase of cattle.

Speaking at the launch of the Milk Mission in Shillong on Saturday, the minister said it would facilitate in achieving the Centre’s goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 through promotion of milk business in the state.

The project consists of 2,000 dairy farm units each with a provision for five cows, sheds, storage room, animal insurance, 79 bulk milk coolers of 500 litre capacity and 13 milk tankers of 3,000 litre capacity.

There is also provision for Rs 1 crore for training farmers.

The mission aims at plugging the demand-supply gap in the per capita milk availability, which is much lower than the Indian Council of Medical Research’s recommendation of consumption per person.

The minister said there are cooperatives in only 97 villages out of the 6,449 villages of Meghalaya while there can be cooperative societies in 60 per cent of the total villages. Production is only 5 per cent of the demand.

“Cooperatives can play an important role in the development of this sector. The minister mentioned that the Centre is strengthening the cooperatives of the state, working in different sectors, through NCDC, which will open new dimensions of employment in the state,” said Singh who asserted that 2,000 farmers will be directly benefited by this mission over the next four years.


7. Indian Railways Launches ‘Mission Satyanishtha’.

In first of its kind event held by any government organisation, the Indian Railways organised a programme on Ethics in Public Governance and launched “Mission Satyanishtha” at a day-long event held at National Rail Museum, New Delhi, on Friday. Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal, administered the oath to the officers and supervisors at the programme.

Speaking on the occasion the MR said, “People define an organisation and an organisation defines its people, hence, work culture has to be improved and transparency brought about, data should be displayed on public domains so as to get constructive feedbacks from the users”. He further added “Lack of interest towards work in any system, may be termed as unethical amounting to corruption”.


8. Invest India And UAE Ministry Sign MoU For Technological Cooperation.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Invest India and the UAE Minister for Artificial Intelligence (AI) for India – UAE Artificial Intelligence Bridge in New Delhi to promote the use of digital technology for better governance.

The MoU will boost development across areas like Blockchain, AI and Analytics. It will generate an estimated USD 20 billion in economic benefits during the next decade for both countries. By 2035 AI can potentially add USD 957 billion to the Indian economy.

Besides, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu flagged off the UAE government’s GovHack series “hackathon” technologies startup competition here, which will be held in 8 major cities around the world.

The New Delhi challenge will be followed for the rest of the year by Tokyo, Santiago, Jakarta, Washington, London, Berlin and Cairo and will culminate with a $100,000 prize for the winner startup.


9. All You Need To Know About Final Draft Of NRC Released By Assam.

Today, the second and final draft of Assam`s National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been published, which includes about 2.9 crore names as opposed to 1.9 crores of the first draft.

Congratulating the people of the state for the successful publication of NRC, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said that the historic day will remain etched in their memories forever.

(If you have no clue about what Assam`s National Register of Citizens is, scroll to the subhead which reads: What is NRC?)

The process of publishing the final draft today was carried out in cooperation with the Registrar General of India, along with the central and the state government officials, under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court -- the chief minister said.


10. 1st Nepal-India Think Tank Summit Begins In Kathmandu.

The first Nepal-India Think Tank Summit will begin in Kathmandu tomorrow to foster greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the think tanks of the two countries.

The summit is being jointly organized by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs and Nehru Memorial Museum Library.Former Prime Minister of Nepal and Co-chairman of ruling Communist Party of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda is scheduled to inaugurate the summit.

General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , Ram Madhav will deliver the keynote address. The main objective of the summit is to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Nepal through multi-faceted collaboration among think-tanks in both the countries.

The summit will have four sessions with different themes. The first session will deal with Building innovative cooperation between Indo-Nepal think tanks, while second session will deal with Bolstering bilateral economic ties for the shared prosperity.

The third session will focus on Managing security dilemma, whereas fourth session will be on Redefining Nepal-India relations in 21st century. Think tanks, policy makers, diplomats, academicians, businesspersons, journalists and government officials from both the countries will participate in the summit.

The summit is proposed to become an annual feature for the participating organisations and it will be hosted alternatively in Nepal and India.


11. Rajasthan Signs MoU For The 1st Cow Sanctuary In State.

Rajasthan will soon have its first ‘cow sanctuary’, a shelter for 10,000 bovines spread over an area of more than 220 hectares in Bikaner district. The state government on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a private trust in this regard, during Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s visit to Bikaner. The cow sanctuary will be the latest in a string of initiatives announced by the BJP government in the state for the protection of bovines since it came to power in 2013. The state already has a ministry dedicated to the welfare of cows and last year it had announced a 10 per cent surcharge on stamp duty towards cow protection.

“This will be the first cow sanctuary in Rajasthan and will be situated in Bikaner’s Napasar. The objective is to dedicate the entire area for cows, much on the lines of a wildlife sanctuary. The signing of the MoU was done on Friday and we are looking to start the facility at the earliest,” Gopalan minister Otaram Dewasi said. He added the sanctuary will be managed by a private trust.

“Facilities in the sanctuary will include hospitals and Sewan grass as fodder for the animals. This particular type of grass is considered to be among the best quality fodder for cows,” said Dewasi.

Members of the trust said that the sanctuary could gradually be developed as a tourist destination.

“The cows which will be kept at the sanctuary would primarily be the animals which are abandoned by their owners after they stop producing milk and become stray animals. Animals rescued from cattle smugglers will also find a place in the facility,” said Rampal Ojha, secretary, Sohanlalji Buladeviji Ojha Gaushala Samiti, the trust that will be managing the sanctuary.


12. Chhattisgarh CM Launch Mobile Distribution Scheme `Mobile Tihar`.

Actress Kangana Ranaut and Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh launched a smartphone distribution scheme called `Mobile Tihar` under Sanchar Kranti Yojna. 

The scheme includes distribution of smartphones to 45 lakh women and 5 lakh children, and setting up of 556 new mobile towers. The Chhattisgarh government is working towards improving network connectivity and empowering youth with smartphones. 


13. Health Ministry Signs MoU With Ministry Of Electronics And Information Technology.

The National Health Agency (NHA) under the Health Ministry, which is the apex body for the implementation of Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission, inked an MoU with the Electronics and IT Ministry to provide information and eligibility validation services to the beneficiaries, especially in remote areas.

Health Minister J P Nadda and Minister for Law and Justice and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad presided over the signing ceremony.

The MoU was signed by Indu Bhushan, CEO, National Health Agency (NHA) and Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC-SPV.

"With this MoU, the dream of Digital India is taking a big leap. The Ayushman Bharat shall benefit 55 crore people across the country. The 3 lakh CSCs in 2.5 lakh Panchayats shall be a great help in the implementation of the scheme," Nadda said.


14. UN E-Government Index: India Ranks 96th, Denmark Tops.

01 August 2018 Current Affairs: India jumped 22 places to 96th rank in the top 100 of the United Nations E-Government Development Index (EGDI) 2018. Denmark, with an index value of 0.9150, topped the 2018 E-Government Development Survey.  The E-Government survey is released by the United Nations in every two years. The 2018 edition was titled as `Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies`. India, which was ranked 118 in 2014, jumped 11 places to be ranked 96 in 2018. 

The EGDI is a composite index based on the weighted average of three normalized indices:

1. Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII),

2. Human Capital Index (HCI),

3. Online Service Index (OSI).