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Finance and Banking
Irdai allows LIC to buy up to 51% stake in debt-ridden IDBI Bank
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) board on Friday approved Life Insurance Corporation’s investment in IDBI Bank, allowing LIC to own up to 51 per cent in the beleaguered lender. LIC will now be able to pump Rs 100-130 billion into IDBI Bank in tranches through a preferential allotment of new equity shares at a price determined by a formula under the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi’s) rules.
However, Irdai put some caveats and directed the insurer to bring down its stake in IDBI Bank over a period of five-seven years. “The regulator has asked LIC to submit a plan with a timeline for paring its stake in the bank,” said a government official in the know.
LIC sources maintain that it will only be an investment for the insurer. “LIC would remain a strategic investor in the bank and it will not control the bank’s management,” said a source. However, the insurer will appoint one or two directors to the bank’s board.
Nissan inks MoU with Kerala govt for 1st global digital hub in India
Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Co today signed an MoU with the Kerala government for its first global centre for digital operations in India and said it will hire around 500 people for the facility by the end of this fiscal.
The Nissan Digital Hub, to be set up here, is the first of a number of software and information technology development centres planned in Asia, Europe and North America, the company said.
Nissan’s Corporate vice-president and chief information officer Tony Thomas and state chief secretary Paul Antony signed the agreement here in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who said the ‘landmark’ announcement marked the arrival of the first global brand to the southern state.
Government notifies Electoral Bond Scheme 2018
As per provisions of the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
A person can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than 1 percent of the votes polled in the last General Election or the Legislative Assembly, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.
State Bank of India (SBI) has been authorised to issue and encash Electoral Bonds through its 11 Authorised Branches (as per list enclosed) with effect from July 2, 2018 to July 11, 2018.
President Ram Nath Kovind launches Solar Charkha Mission
President Ram Nath Kovind on June 27, 2018 launched the ‘Solar Charkha Mission’ on the occasion of the UN MSME Day to mark the important economic role played by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The Solar Charkha Mission was launched with an aim to employ artisans in 50 identified clusters.
The mission will entail a subsidy of Rs 550 crore in the initial two years for 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans.
The mission will generate employment in rural areas and will contribute to the green economy.
It also aims at linking five crore women across the country to the initiative.
The mission is expected to create one lakh jobs during the first two years.
- President Kovind also launched the ‘Sampark portal’, a digital platform to connect five lakh job seekers with recruiters.
- This digital platform will be useful in creating a skill pool of workers and connecting trained youth with job opportunities.
France’s EDF and GE sign deal to build 6 nuclear reactors
French state-run power utility EDF and American conglomerate General Electric (GE) signed strategic cooperation agreement with State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to build 6 EPR (European Pressurized Reactors) type nuclear reactors of capacity 1650 megawatt (MW).
The reactors will be built at Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra.
This strategic cooperation agreement is for long term partnership for construction of conventional island on each of 6 reactor units of Jaitapur nuclear plant.
GE Power will design conventional island for the plant and supply its main components.
EDF will supply EPR technology and will be responsible for building and coordinating industrial partners for this project.
NITI Aayog’s WEP signs five SoIs with financial institutions and social organisations
The Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP) of the NITI Aayog on June 27, 2018 signed five separate Statements of Intent (SoIs) with financial institutions and social organizations.
These organizations are:
- Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Limited
- Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited
- SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited
- Sreemanta Sankar Mission
- Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
Highlights of the SoIs
- The SoIs signed with financial institutions such as the Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance and SREI Infrastructure Finance will be included under the WEP-Finance vertical. These SoIs will provide financial assistance to women entrepreneurs and address the finance related challenges.
- WEP’s partnership with the Sreemanta Sankar Mission of Guwahati aims to empower established as well as aspiring women entrepreneurs in North East India through WEP North East Chapter and will work to popularise WEP in North East.
- The SoI with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a trade union and an organisation of self-employed women workers, includes commitments to mobilise women entrepreneurs in rural areas and promote them in Livelihood Entrepreneurship.
Suresh Prabhu launches ‘ReUnite’ Mobile App
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu on June 29, 2018 launched a mobile application ‘ReUnite’ to track and trace missing and abandoned children in India.
The app has been developed jointly by NGO ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ and IT major Capgemini.
The app will work to reunite parents with their children who have gone missing.
The app is multiuser where parents and citizens can upload pictures of children, and provide detailed description like name, birth mark, address, report to the police station, search and identify missing kids.
Odisha signs MoU for early warning system
The Odisha government on Friday entered into a collaboration with the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), a body of 48 members and collaborating countries, aimed at automating risk management, advisory generation and dissemination.
Bishnupada Sethi, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority managing director, and A.R. Subbiah (for RIMES) signed an MoU in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
The collaborative effort would enhance early warning system for effective management of all kinds of disasters like flood, drought, heat wave, lightning and road accidents, said Mr. Sethi.
Prime Minister lays the foundation stone of National Centre for Ageing at AIIMS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the National Centre for Ageing at AIIMS, New Delhi on June 29, 2018.
The Prime Minister also dedicated the underground connecting tunnel between AIIMS and JNPA Trauma Centre, and Power Grid Vishram Sadan at AIIMS along with the 500 bedded New Emergency Block and 807 bedded Super Specialty Block at the Safdarjung Hospital to the nation.
The National Centre for Ageing will provide state of art clinical care to the elderly population.
The Centre will provide multi-specialty health care and will have 200 general ward beds, which will include 20 medical ICU beds.
The centre will be developed at a cost of Rs 330 crores and shall be completed by February, 2020.
National Generic Document Registration System adopted in Punjab and Andaman& Nicobar Islands
The Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Mines, Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) in all sub-registrar offices in Andaman & Nicobar Islands from New Delhi through a Video-Conferencing.
This generic customisable software will enable ‘anywhere access’ to data and information to both the common man and the enforcement and regulatory agencies.
The transparency will be promoted due to registration through digital means and people will get the benefits in a hassle-free manner.
All 5 sub-registrar offices in the UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been computerised and the NGDRS has been adopted in all 5 offices.
Similarly, all 173 sub-registrar offices of Punjab have been computerised and the NGDRS has been adopted in all 173 offices.
The NGDRS system has been piloted in 3 States – Punjab, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.
Ayush Ministry to introduce Ayurvedic medicine as subject for Sanskrit students
Ayush Ministry is in the process of introducing Ayurvedic medicine as a subject for Sanskrit students.
This subject will help in identifying the medicines and ayurvedic practices from the Sanskrit scriptures that are unexplored.
Students who have completed Plus Two in Sanskrit will be introduced to Ayurveda as a subject.
Government institutes Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) approved institution of Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal.
It also has instituted three more Medals- Antarik Suraksha Medal, Asadharan Aashuchan Padak, and Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal. These medals will be awarded annually.
The Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal and Asadharan Aashuchan Padak will be awarded on Independence Day (15th August), while Antarik Suraksha Medal and Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal will be announced on Republic Day (26th January).
Madhya Pradesh awarded for reducing maternal mortality
Madhya Pradesh awarded for reducing maternal mortality under Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign.
The Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign has been launched to ensure quality care of over 3 crore pregnant women of the country before delivery.
Madhya Pradesh has registered an unprecedented 48-digit decline in maternal deaths as per the report of the Registrar General of India from 2014 to 2016.
India increases grant from USD 12 million to USD 15 million in the Global Environment Facility
India announced to increase its grant to the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) new four-year investment cycle GEF-7 from USD 12 million to USD 15 million.
It was announced at the GEF Council meeting held at Da Nang, Vietnam.
India’s increased financing commitment shows its crucial role to mitigate climate change and other environmental challenges across the globe.
India is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, is both donor and recipient of GEF.
Venkaiah Naidu to inaugurate new State Cancer Institute Block at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the new State Cancer Institute Block at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Naidu will also dedicate to the nation the new linear accelerators installed in the Institute with financial assistance from the Central Government.
The new facility will cut short the waiting period for patients undergoing radiotherapy.
Law & Justice Ministry organises meeting on functioning of LIMBS
Law and Justice Ministry organised a joint secretary level meeting on the functioning of a web-based tool, Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) in New Delhi.
The nodal officers from the various Ministries participated in the event.
FSSAI proposes life imprisonment, Rs10 lakh fine for food adulteration
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on June 26, 2018 recommended stringent punishment for those adulterating food products following the Supreme Court order. Now, those adulterating food products could face life imprisonment and penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh.
The recommendations are the part of amendments proposed by the FSSAI to amend the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The regulator has proposed a total of 100 amendments to the Act and has sought public comments by July 2, 2018.
The draft proposal recommends insertion of Section 59 in the Act that states the punishment for the food adulterers. It calls for punishment of 7 years, which could be extended up to life imprisonment besides a fine of Rs 10 lakh, if individuals or businesses intentionally add adulterants to food products.
Government approves draft Act to replace UGC with Higher Education Commission of India
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on June 27, 2018 proposed a draft bill to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) and set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), a move that aims to reform higher education in India.
The Minister also stated that “The draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of Government for reforming the regulatory systems that provide for more autonomy and facilitate holistic growth of the education system.” The Minister has appealed to all educationists, stakeholders and the general public to give comments and suggestions on the draft legislation before July 7, 2018.
The Act entitled ‘Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act)’ revamps UGC Act, 1951 and its parent legislation completely. The HECI Act, 2018 is expected to be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming monsoon session.
Oxytocin formulations ban to come into effect from July 2018
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has restricted the manufacture of Oxytocin formulations to public sector for domestic use only from July 2018.
It has also banned the import of Oxytocin and its formulations.
No private manufacturer will be allowed to manufacture the drug for domestic use.
Only Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public sector company, would be manufacturing this drug for domestic use.
ICICI Bank Names Girish Chandra Chaturvedi As Non-Executive Chairman
ICICI Bank Ltd said on Friday it appointed Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as part-time, non-executive chairman, effective July 1. Chaturvedi, a former Indian Administrative Services officer, most recently served as chairman of the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority.
He has also served as a government nominee director on the boards of Life Insurance Corp (LIC) of India, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank Ltd and IDFC Ltd.
ICICI Bank’s current Chairman M.K. Sharma’s term expires on June 30, the bank said in a statement.
The bank, India’s third largest lender by assets, also named Chaturvedi as an independent director for three years.
Bhushan Kumar Sinha appointed as Joint Secretary in Department of Financial Services
Senior bureaucrat Bhushan Kumar Sinha has been appointed as Joint Secretary in Department of Financial Services (DFS) as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the government. Sinha, a 1993 batch officer of Indian Economic Service (IES), has been appointed to the post for five years, an order issued by Personnel Ministry said.
He has been appointed in place of IAS officer Lok Ranjan, who is the central government’s nominee on the board of ICICI Bank. Ranjan was in May transferred to the Personnel Ministry. IAS officer N K Sudhansu has been appointed as Professor (Economics) in Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.
Sushma Taishete, a 1988 batch officer of Central Secretariat Service, has been named Joint Secretary in Department of Justice, the order said. Saurabh Endley will be Joint Secretary, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region. He is 1990 batch officer of Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME).
Kalyani Chadha, also an IRSME officer, has been appointed Joint Secretary in Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, it said.
Sikh lawyer appointed judicial commissioner of Singapore’s apex court
Dedar Singh Gill, a prominent Indian-origin intellectual property lawyer in Singapore has been appointed as a judicial commissioner of Singapore’s Supreme Court, the government said.
Gill, 59, has been appointed by President Halimah Yacob as the apex court’s judicial commissioner for a period of two years. Gill will be sworn in on August 3 and his appointment will be for a period of two years, a statement from the Prime Minister’s office said on Wednesday.
A graduate of National University of Singapore (1983), Gill was previously managing director of intellectual property department of the law firm Drew and Napier LLC, where he spent most of his career since graduation.
Kanwaljeet Jawa becomes 1st Indian to be appointed as board member of Daikin
Japanese air-conditioner maker Daikin Industries Ltd has appointed it’s India operations MD & CEO Kanwaljeet Jawa into the board of the parent company.
As per a media release, Mr Jawa will be the first Indian on the Daikin Industries board and will be part of the ten member board council, that will steer the future of Daikin globally. This is as per Daikin’s strategy to include leadership from emerging markets and promote ethnic and gender diversity on their boards.
Today, Daikin Industries Limited finds significant contribution from overseas businesses led by local management across the globe, the release said.
TM Vijay Bhaskar appointed as new Chief Secretary of Karnataka
T M Vijay Bhaskar was appointed the new Chief Secretary (CS) of Karnataka, after State government withdrew its recommendation to give a second extension to incumbent CS Ratna Prabha.
Her tenure will end today on June 30. Though she was set to retire on March 31, earlier this year, former chief minister Siddaramaiah had extended her services by three more months.
Kumaraswamy too had written to the Union government seeking a second extension to Ratna Prabha, which was suddenly withdrawn following JD(S) national president H D Devegowda’s visit to Bengaluru.
Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai Appointed Acting Chief Justice Of Sikkim High Court
The Centre, on Friday, appointed Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai as the Acting Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, with effect from 1 July. The notification was issued in view of the retirement of current Chief Justice Satish Kumar Agnihotri.
Justice Rai did her LLB from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University, and enrolled in the Bar Association of Delhi in 1990. She was appointed as the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class –cum- Civil Judge (East) District at Gangtok, Sikkim the same year, becoming the first lady from Sikkim to be appointed to the said post.
RP Thakur appointed as new DGP of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday gave go-ahead for appointment of Ram Pravaesh Thakur, popularly known as RP Thakur, as new Director General of Police of the state.
CM Naidu chose Thakur, presently working as Director General of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), over D Gautam Sawang for the coveted post in the crucial election year.
AC Pandey appointed new chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appointed Industrial Development Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey the next chief secretary of the state here on Wednesday.
Pandey will replace present incumbent Rajive Kumar who is retiring on June 30, 2018.
The order effecting Pandey’s appointment as state’s bureaucratic head was released by CM secretariat after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening.
Subodh Jaiswal, appointed as new Mumbai Commissioner
IPS officer Subodh Jaiswal from 1985 batch has been appointed as the new CP (Commissioner of Police) of Mumbai. Jaiswal succeeded D. D. Padsalgikar who has been promoted as DG (Director General of Police) of Maharashtra police.
Jaiswal has also served as a senior official in RAW (Research and Analysis Wing). Jaiswal has handled many high profile cases when he was part of state police, Telgi stamp paper scam being one of them.
Jaiswal was also part of the investigative team that probed 2006 Mumbai Serial blast. He had also served Pune as Additional Police Commissioner.
S Ramesh appointed as Chairman of CBIC
The Union Government has appointed senior bureaucrat S Ramesh as Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes.
He has been appointed as chairman of CBIC with the status of special secretary to the central government.
He will succeed Vanaja N Sarna who retired on June 30, 2018.
Index and Lists
India ranks 35th on Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2018
India was ranked 35th among 100 countries (countries) in recently released Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI).
The index was released by realty consultant JLL.
India was ranked 36th in the index during the last bi-annual survey conducted in 2016 and 40th in 2014.
The top 10 countries are United Kingdom (1st), Australia (2nd), United States (3rd), France (4th), Canada (5th), Netherlands (6th), New Zealand (7th), Germany (8th), Ireland (9th) and Sweden (10th).
GRETI ranks 100 markets based on combination of quantitative market data and survey results across on 186 individual measures divided into 14 topic areas grouped and weighted into six broad sub-indices.
NITI Aayog releases first Delta Ranking of Aspirational Districts
The NITI Aayog on June 29, 2018 launched the first Delta Ranking (Incremental Progress) of the Aspirational Districts based on self-reported data of districts between March 31, 2018 to May 31, 2018.
The data was received on five developmental areas- Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure.
These rankings were launched as a part of ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme of PM Narendra Modi.
Rankings of few districts
- Dahod district of Gujarat improved 19.8 points to rank 1st in the Delta ranking and was Ranked 17th in Baseline ranking.
- Asifabad district of Telangana, which was ranked 100 in Baseline ranking released in March 2018, made significant improvements in past two months and stood at 15 in Delta ranking.
- West Sikkim district of Sikkim stood second with 18.9 points, a huge improvement from being in the 30th position in Baseline ranking.
- Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh also made significant improvement by gaining 14.7 points, fetching 6th position in Delta ranking. It ranked at 45th position in Baseline ranking.
North Korea named as ‘worst human trafficking country’ for 16th year
The US State Department on June 28, 2018 categorised North Korea as the “worst human trafficking country” for the 16th straight year in its annual ‘2018 Trafficking in Persons Report’.
North Korea has been named in the lowest ranked Tier 3 category along with China, Russia and Iran. However, South Korea has been ranked at the highest category in the list of Tier 1 countries for the 16th consecutive year along with the US, UK, France and Canada.
US postpones ‘2 plus 2 dialogue’ with India
The United States has postponed the ‘2 plus 2 dialogue’ with India scheduled to be held in Washington next week.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and expressed his regret and deep disappointment for having to postpone the dialogue due to unavoidable reasons.
Emergency declared in Papua New Guinea over Polio outbreak
A public health emergency has been declared in three Papua New Guinea (PNG) provinces as the country responds to its first polio outbreak in 18 years when it was declared free of the disease.
As per the Health Ministry report, at least three provinces Morobe, Madang and the Eastern Highlands confirmed the outbreak of the potentially deadly virus.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), the virus was detected in a six-year-old boy in April this year. Later, it was found that the same virus stain has been identified in other healthy children in the same locality and community. That declared an official outbreak.
US Supreme Court upholds Trump’s travel ban on people from 5 Muslim-majority countries
The US Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Trump administration’s travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries.
Lower courts had deemed the ban as unconstitutional, but the US top court reversed the decision in a 5-4 majority ruling.
The ban prohibits most people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the US.
The court’s ruling is viewed as a victory for the Trump administration.
World’s largest multilateral naval exercise RIMPAC to begin in Hawaii
The world’s largest multilateral naval exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) will begin on June 27, 2018 in Hawaii in the Western Pacific Ocean.
The two-month long biennial exercise is likely to be attended by navies of 26 countries including India.
Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri has already reached the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii to participate in the 26th edition of RIMPAC exercise.
INS Sahyadri, commanded by Captain Shantanu Jha, is a state-of-the-art indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate which is a part of the Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command.
July 1 to be celebrated as ‘GST Day’
The first year of GST has been an example to the world of the readiness of the taxpayers to be a partner in the unprecedented reform in Indian taxation, the finance ministry said today.
The government will celebrate July 1, 2018, as ‘GST Day’ to mark the first anniversary of the new indirect tax regime.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out in the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, last year, in a ceremony held in the Central Hall of Parliament.
International Day of Parliamentarism 2018 observed across the globe
The 2018 International Day of Parliamentarism was observed across the globe on June 30, 2018 with an aim to recognise the role of parliaments in national plans and strategies and in ensuring greater transparency and accountability at national and global levels.
The Day celebrates parliaments and the ways in which parliamentary systems of government improve the day-to-day lives of people the world over. It is also an opportunity for parliaments to take stock, identify challenges, and ways to address them effectively.
The year 2018 marked the first celebration of the International Day of Parliamentarism.
National Statistics Day 2018 observed in India
The National Statistics Day was observed across India on June 29, 2018 with an aim to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation.
This year celebrations of the Day marked the closing ceremony of year long celebrations of 125th birth anniversary of Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.
June 29, 2017 marked the beginning of the 125th year of birth of Prof. Mahalanobis.
International Asteroid Day – 30 June
International Day of the Tropics – 29 June
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