The Hindu – August 2, 2018

//The Hindu – August 2, 2018

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The Hindu – August 2, 2018

  1. The RBI on 01-08-2018 cited inflation concerns as it raised interest rates for the second time in as many months by 25 basis points, setting its benchmark repo rate at 6.5%.

 

  1. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday recommended the auction of spectrum for offering 5G services for the first time in the country at a pan-India reserve price of about ₹492 crore per MHz.
  • The regulator has also called for an over 43% reduction in the reserve price of 700 MHz band spectrum.

 

  1. Odisha is set to roll out its own food security scheme from October 2, 2018.

 

  1. India and Pakistan are set to install new gates at the Attari-Wagah border, where people from both sides throng every evening to watch the lowering of the national flags.

 

  1. All the four spillway shutters of Malampuzha, Kerala’s largest irrigation dam, were opened by three centimeters after the water level crossed 114.88 meters on 01-08-2018 morning.
  • The full storage level of the dam is 115.06 metres.
  • Water level in Kerala’s largest irrigation dam has crossed 114.88 metres

 

  1. During the ‘Karkidaka Vavu’ on August 11, hundreds of devotees will visit the ancient Ayyappancoil (name of the place as well).
  • Ayyappancoil, also spelt Ayyappankovil is a village in newly formed Idukki taluk in Idukki district in the Indian state of Kerala. It is highly noted for the newly constructed suspension bridge and the old historic Sastha temple on the banks of Periyar river.

 

  1. A delegation of Telugu Desam Party MPs and State Ministers met President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi on Wednesday, requesting him to direct the Union government to expedite the establishment of the integrated steel plant by Mecon Limited in Kadapa district.

 

  1. To transform the constituency headquarters town into a complete green belt, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has commenced a massive exercise of planting as many as 1,00,116 saplings at Gajwel Nagara Panchayat limits on Wednesday by planting a Kadamba plant (Neolamarckia cadamba or burflower) at Indira Park Chowrasta in the town near the Integrated Market.

 

  • This is the beginning of the fourth phase of Telangana Ku Haritha Haram programme.
  • Telangana ku Haritha Haram programme – Telangana Ku Haritha Haram or Haritha Haram is a large-scale tree-planting program implemented by the Government of Telangana to increase the amount of tree cover in the state from 24% to 33%.
  • The program was launched by Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao on 3 July 2015.

 

  1. The Lok Sabha on 01-08-2018 passed the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
  • It will designate some courts as commercial courts for speedy disposal of commercial disputes and will reduce the pecuniary jurisdiction of these courts from ₹1 crore to ₹3 lakh.

 

  1. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday launched a logo and tagline for Geographical Indications (GI) to increase awareness about intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the country.
  • Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India” is the tagline, printed below a GI logo in tricolor.

 

  1. More about NRC – The recent history of the NRC can be traced to the public interest litigation filed in the Supreme Court by Assam Public Works seeking the removal of “illegal voters” from the electoral rolls of Assam and the preparation of the NRC as required under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and its rules. The NRC was supposed to be prepared as a consequence of the Assam Accord signed between the Union government and the All-Assam Students’ Union to end the agitation against “outsiders”, promising to identify and remove any foreigners from Assam who had entered the State after 1971.

Though the first NRC was framed in 1951, it and subsequent iterations were recognized to be faulty and the present exercise was supposed to be done in accordance with the 2003 rules.

 

  1. The Union Health Ministry’s ban on the retail sale and private manufacture of oxytocin, expected to kick off on September 1 due to the misuse of the hormone in the dairy industry.

 

  1. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has attracted much attention in recent weeks for two reasons. First, it put out for public consultation the draft Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Bill, which seeks to replace the University Grants Commission. Second, the Right to Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018, was passed by the Lok Sabha on July 18 and is now before the Rajya Sabha. It seeks to eliminate the no-detention policy and reintroduce testing for Classes V and VIII.

 

  1. The polio endgame is proving to be challenging. On June 29, 28 children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were paralysed by the circulating vaccine-derived polio virus Type 2 (cVDPV).

 

  • What is cVDPV?

Oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains an attenuated (weakened) vaccine-virus, activating an immune response in the body. … In very rare instances, the vaccine-virus can genetically change into a form that can paralyse – this is what is known as a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV).

 

  1. What is the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)?

It is a registered trust that runs the ‘Namami Gange’ mission — India’s most ambitious endeavour to clean the Ganga river. The NMCG has a ₹20,000-crore, centrally-funded, non-lapsable corpus and consists of nearly 288 projects. The NMCG’s thrust is on roping in the private sector to not only set up sewage treatment plants but also maintain them. In return, the government offers to contribute 40% of the capital costs upfront and disburse the rest — with a profit margin — over 15 years subject to performance indicators being met. The mission also has projects to clean the ghats, rid the river of biological contaminants and improve rural sanitation and afforestation.

In May 2014, there were 31 treatment plants with a capacity of 485 MLD. As of May 2018, 94 projects, with a treatment capacity of 1,928 MLD, were under way.

 

  1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha that status quo was being maintained at the Doklam trijunction and that the issue had been resolved in August last year through “diplomatic maturity.”
  • What does status quote mean?

To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are. The related phrase status quo ante, literally “the state in which before”, means “the state of affairs that existed previously”

 

  1. President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the years 2014 to 2017.
  • Among those who received the awards include Najma Heptulla, Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Dinesh Trivedi and Bhartruhari Mahtab.

 

  1. TRAI gives nod for sale of 5G spectrum
  • The last auction for spectrum was held in October 2016, wherein around 60% spectrum remained unsold, with the government garnering over ₹65,000 crore.
  • For the 1,800 MHz spectrum — widely used for offering voice services — the reserve price of ₹3,285 crore has been recommended.
  • For spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 Mhz bands, the reserve price has been kept at ₹4,651 crore, ₹1,622 crore, ₹3,399 crore, ₹960 crore, and ₹821 crore, respectively. The prices for 2300 Mhz, 2500 Mhz and 3300-3600 Mhz are for unpaired spectrum.

 

  1. What is Repo Rate?

Repo rate refers to the rate at which the central bank lends to commercial banks, and usually, the repo rate is hiked to control inflation.

 

  1. 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship – 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship that ensures free movement of Indian and Nepalese people into each other’s territory and allows them to own property and enjoy other privileges.
  • Why in news?

Because Gurkhas who came from Nepal after this treaty are amongst those whose names were not present in the NRC.

 

  1. The UAE on 01-08-2018 launched a landmark three-month visa amnesty programme that will benefit hundreds of illegal foreign workers, including Indians, who are overstaying their permits. The programme allows the workers to leave the country without paying penalty and also gives them six months to find a job

 

  1. Afghanistan’s presidential poll to be held on April 20, 2019.
  • The date was announced by Abdul Badi Sayad, chairman of the Independent Election Commission.
  • Current President of Afghanistan – Ashraf Ghani

 

  1. An Aeromexico flight crashed on take-off during a heavy hailstorm in northern Mexico, engulfing the plane in flames.
  • The Embraer aircraft, which was operating between Durango and Mexico City, crashed at around 3.00 p.m. local time on 31-07-2018 (20:00 GMT).

 

  1. Cabinet okays 51% stake for LIC in IDBI
  • The Union Cabinet on 01-08-2018 gave its approval to the government’s decision to reduce its stake in IDBI Bank below 50%, with Life Insurance Corporation raising stake in the bank to 51%.
  • The committee also gave its approval for the issue of fresh 13,87,82,700 equity shares in Hindustan Copper to the extent of 15% of paid up equity capital in order to reduce its shareholding in the company to 66.13% from the current 76.05%.

 

  1. GST revenue in July rises to ₹96,483 cr, marginally higher than the ₹95,610 crore collected in June.

 

  1. Air compressor manufacturer Elgi Equipments has acquired Pulford Air and Gas, an Australian company, at a total cost of Australian $11.04 million.
  • Pulford is one of the largest distributors of industrial air compressors in Australia. Elgi has acquired F.R. Pulford & Son Pty Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary Advanced Air compressors Pty Ltd.

 

  1. The IWAI (Inland Waterways Authority of India) unveiled a portal for cargo owners and logistic operators to access real-time data on availability of vessels. The move is a first of its kind as there is no platform currently available to provide details about available vessels in the market as well as to connect cargo owners, shippers and vessel operators with each other.

 

  1. Mithali Raj, Deepti Sharma and Veda Krishnamurthy will lead the India Blue, India Red and India Green teams in the senior women’s T20 Challenger Trophy at Alur in Bengaluru from August 14 to 21.

 

  1. BJP leader Anurag Thakur has moved the Supreme Court seeking recall of its order of January 2 last year, stripping him of his position as the BCCI president and [ordering him] to “forthwith cease and desist” from associating with Indian cricket’s most powerful body.

 

  1. The BCCI will bear the entire cost of the cash-strapped North Eastern states’ Ranji Trophy debut, which has been mandated by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, a couple of whom will play their home games at neutral venues due to lack of infrastructure.

 

  1. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked all the National Sports Federations, whose athletes are scheduled to compete in the Asian Games in Indonesia, to ensure a thorough medical screening and submit the reports by August 10.

 

  1. A refurbished Madras Motor Race Track is all set for some top-drawer action as it hosts the fourth round of FIM Asia road racing championships (ARRC) commencing 03-08-2018.

 

  1. Indian-origin mathematician among Fields Medal winners
  • Akshay Venkatesh, Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli and Peter Scholze were the recipients
  • Every four years, at an international gathering of mathematicians, the subject’s youngest and brightest are honored with the Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics

 

  1. 5 Indian students win silver in global school debate contest
  • Dhananjay Ashok adjudged ‘Best Speaker’ at the championships in Croatia
  • The speakers from India were: Hemanth Bharatha Chakravarthy; Dhananjay Ashok; Tejas Subramaniam; Manya Gupta; and Saranya Ravindran.

 

  1. Israeli archaeologists on 31-07-2018 unveiled what they said was a major pottery plant, which produced wine storage jars continuously from Roman to Byzantine times. The Israel Antiquities Authority said that excavations near the town of Gedera revealed the factory and an adjacent leisure complex of 20 bathing pools and a room used for board games.

 

  1. India has ordered an immediate recall of rabies vaccines made by a scandal-hit Chinese company, complaining it only found out about possible problems through media reports. Drug Controller General of India S. Eswara Reddy said that it has also put a temporary stop on fresh imports of the vaccine made by Changchun Changsheng.

 

  1. Things to remember
  • Chief Minister of Kerela – Pinarayi Vijayan
  • Telangana Chief Minister – K. Chandrasekhar Rao
  • Governor of Bihar – Satya Pal Malik
  • CM of Bihar – Nitish Kumar
  • Law Minister of India – Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • Commerce and Industry Minister – Suresh Prabhu
  • NRC coordinator – Prateek Hajela
  • Governor of RBI – Urjit Patel
  • Deputy Governor of RBI – N.S. Vishwanathan
  • Syrian President – Bashar al-Assad

 

  1. Improve your Vocabulary:
  • dismay

noun

  1. concern and distress caused by something unexpected.

“to his dismay, she left him”

antonyms: pleasure, relief

verb

1.cause (someone) to feel concern and distress.

“they were dismayed by the U-turn in policy”

antonyms: encourage, please

synonyms: appal, horrify, shock, shake