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July 16, 2015

16th July 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • The Government is going to spend over 90 thousand crore rupees for the development of North Eastern region. 
    • This include construction of highways and developing rail networks.
  • Amid a controversy over not releasing of caste census data, the government has set up an Expert Group to collate caste count.
    • This Expert Group will be headed by : Arvind Panagariya (Vice-Chairman of NITI Ayog)
    • The government has been criticised by parties, including Samajwadi Party, JD(U), RJD and DMK for refraining from releasing the caste-based data in its first Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC).
    • Note : The SECC data released on July 3 is first in eight decades after 1912.  
  • The 6 member government panel on Net neutrality has recommended that apps offering domestic calling be brought under the regulatory framework prescribed for telecom operators, but those providing messaging and international calling services over the Internet be kept free from licensing requirements.
    • Head of this panel : A.K. Bhargava (Adviser, Technology, Department of Telecommunication)
    • Note : The report suggests that plans such as Airtel Zero be allowed with prior clearance from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, but opposes platforms such as of Facebook. 
  • The government of Nagaland has prohibited permanently the manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of all forms of processed sweet flavored/scented/chewable tobacco whether going by the name or form of gutkha, pan-masala, zarda etc., containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients by whatsoever name available in the market in Nagaland.
    • Chief Minister of Nagaland : T. R. Zeliang
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the creation of an intra state transmission system in 7 states.
    • Those states include, 
      • Andhra Pradesh, 
      • Gujarat, 
      • Himachal Pradesh, 
      • Karnataka, 
      • Madhya Pradesh, 
      • Maharashtra 
      • Rajasthan 
    • Estimated cost of this project : Rs 8548.68 crore [Government of India contribution from National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) of Rs 3419.47 crore (40 percent of the total estimated cost of project)].
  • To address the issues of pollution, congestion and lack of housing for the poor and middle class, the union government has approved the TOD Policy for Delhi.
    • TOD : Transit Oriented Development
    • Minister of urban development M.Venkaiah Naidu has cleared the policy which is expected to recast Delhi's landscape as part of review of Master Plan for Delhi - 2021.
    • Note : The ministry almost doubled the floor area ratio for constructions around mass rapid transit systems like the Metro, albeit with some riders.
  • Adding more momentum in the area of defense product manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, American aerospace and defense major Boeing has signed a framework agreement with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, to collaborate in aerospace and defence manufacturing.
    • Both companies, as per this agreement, will jointly work on potential integrated systems development opportunities, including unmanned aerial vehicles.
    • The two companies plan to access markets jointly for products and platforms developed together by them.
Science & Technology
  • Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai has joined hands with Techfest, IIT Bombay to launch a pilot project “Internet for All
    • The “internet for all” project, which is being piloted at 26 rural schools in Nashik district , will be a facility incorporated in Nehru Science Centre’s mobile science exhibition bus and will cover a distance of 650 km. 
    • The aim is to literally take internet to the doorsteps of students studying in remote parts of Maharashtra. 
Business & Economy
  • The Greek parliament passed sweeping austerity measures demanded by lenders to open talks on a new multibillion-euro bailout package to keep Greece in the euro.
    • The legislation includes tax rises and an increase in the retirement age.
  • In a bid to streamline the FDI structure, the government has introduced a composite foreign investment cap by clubbing all forms of overseas investments to define sectoral limits. 
    • The proposal is aimed at simplification of FDI policy with a view to attracting foreign investments and also improving ease of doing business in India.
    • "from now onwards, all FIIs, NRIs and other foreign investments... Will be clubbed. It will be constituted as a composite cap", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
    • Note : Under the existing policy, there are different caps for separate investment categories like FDI, FII and NRIs.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a committee with the objective of working out a medium-term (five-year) measurable action plan for financial inclusion. 
    • The terms of reference will include reviewing the existing policy of financial inclusion, including supportive payment system and customer protection framework, taking into account the recommendations made by various committees set up earlier.
    • Head of this Committee : Deepak Mohanty (RBI Executive Director).
  • The Home Ministry has cleared a proposal of Chinese telecom giant Huawei to set up a manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu.
    • The move came almost two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China where he affirmed his commitment to creating a business environment suitable for both the countries.
  • Bangladesh record 4th consecutive ODI series win by beating South Africa by 9 wickets to claim the series.
Daily Current Affairs of July 2015

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