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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Cabinet Approves Rs 1 Lakh Crore Fund For Agriculture Infrastructure
- The Union Cabinet gave its approval to Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore, a new pan-India central government scheme, to provide a medium to long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.
- Union Cabinet, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated under the Scheme, Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), marketing cooperative societies, Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), self-help groups (SHGs), farmers, joint liability groups (JLG), multi-purpose cooperative societies, agri-entrepreneurs, start-ups, aggregation infrastructure providers and central/state agency or local body sponsored public-private partnership projects.
- Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with the sanction of Rs 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs 30,000 crore each in the next three financial years.
- All loans under this financing facility will have interest subvention of 3 per cent per annum up to a limit of Rs 2 crore.
This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.
- Credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs 2 crore. The fee for this coverage will be paid by the government.
- In case of FPOs, the credit guarantee may be availed from the facility created under FPO promotion scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DACFW)
- The total outflow as budgetary support from the central government will be Rs 10,736 crore.
- The agri infra fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform.
- National, state and district-level monitoring committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feedback.
- The duration of the scheme will be for 10 years from the financial year 2020 to FY 2029.
Centre to release postal stamp of former PM PV Narasimha Rao to mark centenary
- A commemorative stamp would be released soon by the Centre in honour of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao on his 100th birth anniversary.
- The Telangana state cabinet and Legislature would pass resolutions requesting a Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, for the former Prime Minister.
PM Modi to inaugurate 3-day India Global Week 2020
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address on the first day of India Global Week-2020 .The theme of the three-day virtual conference is Be The Revival: India and a Better New World. India Global Week- 2020 will have 5,000 global participants from 30 nations. In all, 250 global speakers will address the virtual conference in 75 sessions.
- Other high profile speakers participating at the event will include External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar, Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir G C Murmu, Isha Foundation Founder Sadhguru, Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar along with UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel, US Ambassador to India Ken Juster and others.
- It will also feature a never seen before performance ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by Madhu Nataraj and a special 100th birth anniversary concert in tribute to the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar by three of his most eminent students.
Union Cabinet extends Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana till November; 80 crore people to be benefitted
- The Union Cabinet has given approval for extending Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for five more months. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that under the scheme, five kilogram of Wheat or Rice will be given to every member of the beneficiary family and one kilogram of Chana will be given to each family for five more months. Mr. Javadekar stated, the scheme will benefit more than 80 crore people in the country.
- The Cabinet also gave its approval to a new pan India Central Sector Scheme- Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. The scheme will provide a medium and long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.
- The Government has extended the time limit for availing three free gas cylinders by beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that the beneficiaries can avail the free cylinders till September this year. Earlier, the beneficiaries were able to avail the free cylinders only up till June.
- The Cabinet has also approved development of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes for urban migrants and poor as a sub-scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Under the scheme, 1 lakh eight thousand single bedroom flats will be given to nearly 3 lakh 50 thousand people.
- In another major announcement, the Cabinet approved extension of the Employee Provident Fund contribution of 24 per cent for another three months from June to August this year. The scheme entails an expenditure of 4 thousand 860 crore and will benefit over 72 lakh employees in the country. The government will credit the contributions both for the employee and the employer.
Cabinet approves 12 thousand 450 crore rupees investment in three public sector general insurance companies
- The Union Cabinet has also approved capital infusion in three Public Sector General Insurance
- Javadekar informed that under it, 12 thousand 450 crore rupees will be invested in Oriental Insurance Company Limited, National Insurance Company Limited and United India Insurance Company Limited.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Maldives, Sri Lanka eliminate measles & rubella ahead of 2023 target
- Maldives and Sri Lanka have become the first two countries in the South-East Asia region to eliminate both measles and rubella ahead of the 2023 target. The announcement was made by WHO South-East Asia’s Regional Director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh after the fifth meeting of the regional verification commission for measles and rubella elimination, held virtually.
- Singh stated protecting all children against these killer and debilitating diseases is an important step in endeavour to achieve healthier population and health for all. The Regional Director commended Member countries’ efforts to deliver life-saving vaccines to children even while battling the COVID pandemic.
- A country is verified as having eliminated measles and rubella when there is no evidence of endemic transmission for over three years by a well-performing surveillance system.
- Maldives reported its last endemic case of measles in 2009 and of rubella in October 2015, while Sri Lanka reported last endemic case of measles in May 2016 and of rubella in March 2017.
- Member countries of WHO South-East Asia region had set 2023 as the target for elimination of measles and rubella. Bhutan, DPR Korea and Timor-Leste are other countries in the region who have eliminated measles.
- Capital: Malé
- Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa
- Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative) Colombo (executive and judicial)
- President: Gotabaya Rajapaksa
- Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
SBI to invest up to Rs.1,760 crore in Yes Bank
- State Bank of India will invest up to 1,760 crore in troubled private sector lender Yes Bank, which is set to come out with a follow-on public offer.
- The decision was taken at a meeting of the Executive Committee of Central Board (ECCB) of SBI.
- The announcement comes a day after Yes Bank stated the Capital Raising Committee of its board has approved a proposal for capital raise through an FPO.
- SBI has been a knight in shining armour for the troubled lender. As part of the reconstruction scheme, SBI along with other domestic banks and financial institutions invested Rs.10,000 crore in Yes Bank. As on March 31, 2020, it owned 48.21 per cent stake in the lender.
- Yes Bank is looking to raise between Rs.10,000 crore and Rs.15,000 crore through the FPO route and is understood to have filed the offer document with the Registrar of Companies.
- According to sources, Tilden Park Capital Management, which was also in the fray to invest in the lender, before it was put under the reconstitution scheme, may pick up a significant stake in the planned FPO and invest about Rs.3,000 crore.
- Another probable investor could be Life Insurance Corporation of India, which could put in about Rs.1,500 crore.
- YES Bank had recently restated its consolidated and standalone financial statements for the last three fiscals from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar
- Headquarters: Mumbai
About Yes Bank:
- CEO: Prashant Kumar
- Headquarters: Mumbai
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
Mamata Banerjee launches West Bengal’s ‘Self Scan’ app
- In the backdrop of the central government imposing a ban on as many as 59 Chinese mobile phone apps, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a mobile app, indigenously developed by state information technology department, for documents scanning. The app is named – ‘Self Scan’.
- The application will be made available on the app store and will be free and completely safe.
- Self Scan is a completely safe and a protected app. No data is saved on the server. Documents can be edited too on the application besides the scanning feature.
About West Bengal
- Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar
- Capital: Kolkata
- Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee
Andhra Pradesh celebrates Farmers’ Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy
- To commemorate the birth anniversary of S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the 14th chief minister of Andhra Pradesh who served from 2004 to 2009, the state of Andhra Pradesh, July 8, is celebrating Rythu Dinotsavam (Farmers’ Day).
- Late YSR’s son Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government in Andhra Pradesh, last year, designated July 8 as the Farmer’s Day in the state. As against the last year’s celebrations on the day, this year, the celebrations would be low, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
About Andhra Pradesh
- Legislative Capital: Amaravati, Executive Capital: Vishakapatnam, Judicial Capital: Kurnool
- Governor: Biswabhusan Harichandan
- Chief Minister: Jagan Mohan Reddy
CIDC initiates skill Development Programme in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) established by the NITI Aayog has initiated a skill Development Programme in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to provide ‘Employment oriented training and Skill development for the marginalized section.
- The NHIDCL, Port Blair in partnership with Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) has planned a 3 months course from 01 Aug 2020 to 31 Oct 2020 for Mason trade for the local youth/ school dropouts (10th Pass) at Mayabunder.
About Andaman and Nicobar:
- Capital: Port Blair
- Lieutenant Governor: Admiral (ret.) Devendra Kumar Joshi
Gujarat govt constitutes a five-member commission to protect rights of tribal
- Gujarat Government has constituted a five-member commission to decide rightful beneficiaries of Rabari, Bharwad and Charan castes residing in the Ness areas of Gir, Barda, and Aalech forests. This decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar.
- The State Tribal Development Minister Ganpatsinh Vasava stated that a five-member commission would consist of a retired High Court Judge, two retired District Court Judges, a retired Forest Department official and a retired Additional Collector. He stated that the aim to set up this commission is to protect the Constitutional rights of rightful tribal and to prevent the wrong person from taking benefits of the tribal.
- The State Government has expressed its determination to protect the rights of the tribal. The decision to constitute the commission has been taken after the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s recent meeting with the leaders of Rabari, Charan and Bharwad communities.
- Capital: Gandhinagar
- Chief minister: Vijay Rupani
- Governor: Acharya Devvrat
Andhra Pradesh Government brings Covid-19 treatment under Dr YSR Aarogyasri, State’s free healthcare scheme
- In a significant move, the Andhra Pradesh Government has brought Covid-19 treatment under the purview of Dr YSR Aarogyasri, the flagship free healthcare scheme of the State.
- With this the treatment cost of Covid-19 patients will be borne by the State government. This facility also covers empanelled private hospitals.
- Detailed guidelines including the permissible cost of treatment under different categories has been released by the Government.
- The private hospitals have been categorised into three types. While the first category of hospitals caters entirely to Covid-19 treatment, the second type will be treating both coronavirus and non-Covid-19 patients. The hospitals which will treat non-Covid-19 cases have been placed in the third category.
- The Chief Executive Officer of Dr YSR Aarogyasri Trust has been entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the smooth implementation of the scheme and relief to patients by Jawahar Reddy, Special Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department.
Gujarat extends Solar Power Policy period till December 2020
- The Gujarat government has announced a nine-month extension for its Gujarat Solar Power Policy –2015, till December 2020.
- With the extension of the policy, which was due to end in March 2020, entrepreneurs and solar power project developers will get an extended window of nine months to set up projects and avail the benefits under the policy. Under the extended window, State will be able to achieve 8000 Mw of solar capacities target
- State Energy Minister Saurabh Patel stated the decision is part of the Gujarat Atmanirbhar Package to revive the State’s economy, and will help it achieve the target of setting up 8,000 MW of solar power generation capacities by 2022. This will provide a further boost to the Clean and Green Energy call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he added.
- The policy, announced in August 2015, was seen as a step to decentralise solar power generation and aimed at encouraging investors to set up megawatt-scale solar projects under solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies. The policy — the second after the one announced in 2009 — also aimed at encouraging smaller generation units, mainly kilowatt (KW)-scale solar projects in the form of solar rooftop systems. The minimum size of a MW-scale project was fixed at 1 MW and that for a KW-scale project was kept at 1 KW.
- Patel also stated the State has emerged among the top players in the solar power generation in the country and achieved an installed renewable energy capacities of 3,057 MW, against the target of 10,711 MW.
Maharashtra gives banking mandate to IDBI Bank, district co-op banks
- The Maharashtra State Cabinet decided to give its banking mandate to IDBI Bank, regional rural bank and 15 district central cooperative banks in the state. The mandate is only for the partial handling of certain funds.
- The Chief Minister’s Office stated the decision to give the mandate to IDBI Bank was taken keeping in mind the fact that the Government of India and Life Insurance Corporation of India held 46 per cent of the share capital of the bank.
- IDBI Bank will handle excess funds of State Government public undertakings and corporations. It will not handle State Government employee salaries and pensions, the statement stated.
- Feedback was sought from the Maharashtra Department of Co-operation, Textiles and Marketing on District Central Cooperative Banks that are financially viable and are run professionally.
- Accordingly, approval was given to 15 District Central Co-operative Banks to conduct government banking transactions (excluding salaries and pensions of government employees).
- Capitals: Mumbai
- Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari
- Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackeray
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Google Rebrands Social Network Google Plus As Google Currents
- Tech giant Google’s social media network Google Plus has officially gone almost a year after the company had shut down its personal accounts.
- Google recently announced that it is replacing the social network meant for enterprise users with a new tool called the Google Currents.
- Google Currents is designed specifically to enhance communications within organisations and enterprises. It allows users to discuss through posts and comments.
- CEO: Sundar Pichai
- Headquarters: US
India growth forecast cut again at Citi as coronavirus cases surge
- Citigroup Inc. sharply lowered its forecast for India’s economy as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing.
- The nation’s gross domestic product will contract 6% in the fiscal year to March 2021, steeper than Citi’s previous estimate for a 3.5% decline, its analysts led by Samiran Chakraborty, chief India economist in Mumbai. The revision is largely due to a cut to the fiscal first-quarter forecast — with the economy seen slumping 21% during the period against 16% estimated earlier.
- Citi’s estimate is more severe than the International Monetary Fund’s forecast for a 4.5% decline this year and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s prediction for a 5% contraction.
- Consumer and business sentiment is likely to remain low in the second quarter, the Citi economists stated. Return of economic activity to pre-pandemic levels is likely to happen in the third quarter, but sustained return to earlier economic growth rates may take much longer.
- CEO: Michael Corbat
- Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
CBDT, SEBI sign MoU for data exchange
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for data exchange between the two organizations.
- The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between SEBI and CBDT on an automatic and regular basis.
- In addition to regular exchange of data, the two organizations will also exchange with each other, on request and suo moto basis, any information available in their databases for the purpose of carrying out their functions under various laws.
- CBDT and SEBI, who are already collaborating through various existing mechanisms. A Data Exchange Steering Group has also been constituted for the initiative, which will meet periodically to review the data exchange status and take steps to further improve the effectiveness of the data sharing mechanism.
- HeadQuarters: New Delhi
- Chairman: Pramod Chandra Mody
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Chairperson: Ajay Tyagi
IIT Alumni Council and CSIR-IGIB sign MoU for joint research on COVID-19 and patient data analysis
- The IIT Alumni Council has signed an agreement with the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) to jointly conduct research on COVID-19 and patient data analysis. It may be noted that the council is setting up the world’s largest molecular diagnostic lab ‘MegaLab Mumbai’.
- The council handed over imaging data of over 8,500 patients, who were admitted at the COVID Care Facility at Worli’s National Sports Club of India. IIT Alumni Council President Ravi Sharma has stated that this partnership will not only create a world-leading testing and treatment ecosystem but also establish global data leadership.
- Late May, the Council had announced the launch of the world’s largest virology lab testing centre with a capacity of conducting one crore tests. The first phase, with a capacity to carry out 10 lakh tests, will be ready by the end of this month.
- The IIT Alumni Council is the largest body of alumni, students and faculty from all the 23 Indian Institutes of Technology and partnering Technical Institutes of Excellence and was formed last year to carry out projects of social importance.
About CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology:
- Location : Delhi
- Director : Anurag Agrawal
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Jayant Krishna to take over as first Indian CEO of UKIBC from Aug 3
- The UK India Business Council announced that Jayant Krishna will take over as its new Group Chief Executive Officer from August 3.
- Krishna has previously led key initiatives of the Prime Minister’s Skill India mission as CEO, and Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer of the National Skill Development Corporation.
- He will be the first Indian CEO of UKIBC and the first CEO of the Council who shall be based in India.
- He will be replacing the current Group CEO, Richard Heald, OBE after a term of 10 years.
- Heald will step in to the role of Chair from September 1, 2020.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Mylab launches ‘Compact XL’ to automate molecular diagnostic test for COVID-19
- Pune-based molecular diagnostics company, Mylab Discovery Solutions has launched ‘Compact XL’, India’s first machine to automate the manual processes of molecular diagnostic tests such as RNA/DNA-based tests including COVID-19 RT-PCR tests.
- The machine is designed to automate lab operations from sample handling to RT-PCR ready tube preparation, and do these operations in one single compact benchtop machine.
- Compact XL is a cartridge-based machine and can test multiple samples concurrently. Compact XL can be used for a wide range of RNA/DNA-based tests including COVID-19 RT-PCR tests.
- The machine can run 32 samples at a time which can be further increased when machines are connected in a network.
About Mylab Discovery Solutions
- Executive Director: Shailendra Kawade
- Managing Director: Hasmukh Rawal
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Mahaveer: Book on 1962 Indo-China War by A.K. Srikumar along with his wife, Rupa Srikumar
- The book, titled ‘Mahaveer: The Soldier who never died’ is a patriotic story of indomitable courage and selfless love of the legendary Garhwali soldier.
- Authored by award winning K. Srikumar along with his wife, Rupa Srikumar, the novel tells the tale of one of – Jaswant Singh Rawat, one of India’s greatest soldiers from the war.
- Published by highly noted Indian publishing house – Rupa Publications, and represented by one of India’s biggest literary agencies – The Book Bakers, the book has been climbing the bestseller lists rapidly with over half of its print run being sold out in record time.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Veteran Bollywood actor Jagdeep of Sholay fame dead
- Veteran actor Jagdeep, whose paan-stained grin and mischievous eyes as Soorma Bhopali in Sholay made him popular across generations, died at his residence. He was 81.
- Jagdeep, whose real name was Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, started his journey in cinema with the 1951 film Afsana, which marked filmmaker BR Chopra’s directorial debut.
DAILY CA 8th JUL
- NHRC sets up panel to assess Covid-19 impact on human rights
- USTATED, MNRE Announce New Partnership To Expand Clean Energy Development
- S. to formally withdraw from WHO in 2021
- India funded new school infrastructure inaugurated in Nepal
- AIIB extends $50 mn loan to L&T Infra Finance for Renewable Energy
- Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund launches voice-based services via Google Assistant
- Fino Payments Bank launches ‘Bhavishya’ savings account for minors
- World Bank to provide 400 million dollars to enhance support for rejuvenating River Ganga
- Karur Vysya Bank in corporate agency pact with Bajaj Allianz Life
- YES Bank launches instant loan disbursement facility
- Maruti Suzuki Partners With Axis Bank For Easy Car Loan Schemes
- NSDC and Microsoft collaborate to train over 1 lakh youths
- Assam’s Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary to get national park status
- Himachal first state with LPG gas connections in 100 percent households
- Delhi govt decides to provide free ration to PDS cardholders till November 2020
- MoU signed between National Medicinal Plants Board and ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources
- Paytm, CEO Sharma to acquire general insurer Raheja QBE for Rs 568 crore
- NCLAT chairperson Justice Bhat gets three-month extension
- IOC receives Green Building Leadership Award
- India ranks 34th in Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2020 by JLL
- China Masters and Dutch Open 2020 cancelled by BWF due to coronavirus
- AIBA releases rankings in nearly two years, Amit Panghal trumps Olympic champion Zoirov to become World No.1
- Vasudeva Maiya, former CEO of Guru Raghavendra Bank passes away
- Goa’s former health minister Dr Suresh Amonkar passes away
- Charlie Daniels: Country and southern rock legend passes away
DAILY CA 9th JUL
- Cabinet Approves Rs 1 Lakh Crore Fund For Agriculture Infrastructure
- Centre to release postal stamp of former PM PV Narasimha Rao to mark centenary
- PM Modi to inaugurate 3-day India Global Week 2020
- Union Cabinet extends Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana till November; 80 crore people to be benefitted
- Cabinet approves 12 thousand 450 crore rupees investment in three public sector general insurance companies
- Maldives, Sri Lanka eliminate measles & rubella ahead of 2023 target
- SBI to invest up to Rs.1,760 crore in Yes Bank
- Mamata Banerjee launches West Bengal’s ‘Self Scan’ app
- Andhra Pradesh celebrates Farmers’ Day to commemorate birth anniversary of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy
- CIDC initiates skill Development Programme in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Gujarat govt constitutes a five-member commission to protect rights of tribal
- Andhra Pradesh Government brings Covid-19 treatment under Dr YSR Aarogyasri, State’s free healthcare scheme
- Gujarat extends Solar Power Policy period till December 2020
- Maharashtra gives banking mandate to IDBI Bank, district co-op banks
- Google Rebrands Social Network Google Plus As Google Currents
- India growth forecast cut again at Citi as coronavirus cases surge
- CBDT, SEBI sign MoU for data exchange
- IIT Alumni Council and CSIR-IGIB sign MoU for joint research on COVID-19 and patient data analysis
- Jayant Krishna to take over as first Indian CEO of UKIBC from Aug 3
- Mylab launches ‘Compact XL’ to automate molecular diagnostic test for COVID-19
- Mahaveer: Book on 1962 Indo-China War by K. Srikumar along with his wife, Rupa Srikumar
- Veteran Bollywood actor Jagdeep of Sholay fame dead