Business & Economy
Science & Technology
- Union Cabinet today approved 6 new IITs at Goa, Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwad (Karnataka), and Bhilai (Chhattisgarh).
- Note : It also approved the conversion of Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad to an IIT.
- The Centre has issued Standard Operating Procedures for government offices under 'Swachh Bharat Mission', stating that penalty will be imposed for littering and spitting inside office premises.
- Further, open urination and non-collection of construction or demolition waste by the contractor will be penalised.
- The order also makes it mandatory to form a sanitation committee for every department.
- Aiming to create 21 million new jobs by 2025, the Union Cabinet today approved India's first-ever National Capital Goods Policy.
- This policy aims to create an ecosystem for a globally competitive capital goods sector and increase production to over ₹7.5 lakh crore from the current ₹2.3 lakh crore by 2025.
- Note : Capital goods are those used in manufacturing other goods.
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of two Bills in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
- These bills seek to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of five States, namely, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Tripura.
- They also seek identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
- The Bills add the following communities to the list of Scheduled Castes :
- Assam : Inclusion of Boro, Boro Kachari, Bodo, Bodo Kachari and Karbi (Mikir) communities in the list.
- Chhattisgarh : Inclusion of Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyan, Dhanuhar/Dhanuwar,Kisan, Saunra, Saonra and Dhangad communities in the list.
- Jharkhand : Inclusion of Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri) and Puran communities in the list.
- Tamil Nadu : Inclusion of Malayali Gounder, Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran communities in the list.
- Tripura : Inclusion of Darlong community in the list. Puducherry: Identification (First Order) of Irular (including Villi and Vettaikaran).
- Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today announced that waitlisted and RAC (reservation against cancellation) ticket holders can now cancel their tickets by dialing 139.
- Earlier, this facility was available only for confirmed ticket holders.
- Online cancellation through 139, however, will be permitted only till 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train for RAC and waitlisted tickets.
- The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has decided to launch ASMITA, a student tracking system programme under Shala Asmita Yojana (SAY).
- This programme will track the educational journey of 25 crore school students across 15 lakh schools, both private and government.
- The programme uses students' Aadhaar numbers to create a database regarding student attendance, enrolment, mid-day meal services, learning outcomes and infrastructural facilities.
- ASMITA - All School Monitoring Individual Tracing Analysis
Business & Economy
- The World Bank has launched Pandemic Emergency Finance Facility (FEP) to help countries and health agencies fight deadly disease outbreaks.
- FEP is a financing mechanism designed to quickly mobilize funds to tackle global disease outbreaks and create a new insurance market for pandemic risk.
- It was unveiled at the G-7 Finance Ministers Summit held in Ise-Shima, Japan.
- Japanese Government has committed to donate $50 million dollars to it, becoming the first donor.
- Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to give Greece access to bailout loans of €10.3 billion ($11.5 billion) and short-term debt relief measures, such as locking in lower interest rates and easing repayment schedules.
- This is the second instalment of Greece’s third bailout package, worth €86 billion, agreed last August.
- Note : Greece’s debt stands at €321 billion, 180% of its GDP.
- India today signed a $100 million loan deal with the World Bank to develop the Karnataka Urban Water Supply Modernisation Project that will provide piped water to different cities in the state.
- It will be implemented over the course of six years.
- Further, Hubbali-Dharwad twin cities have been chosen to start off the project.
- Kaduna state in Nigeria has declared an emergency after moths destroyed 80% of the tomato produce.
- The wholesale price of a basket of tomatoes has risen to $212 from $1.50-$7.50.
- Twitter today announced changes to its 140-character limit and names in replies and media attachments like photos, GIFs, videos and polls will no longer count as characters within a tweet in the coming months.
- The micro-blogging site will also let users Retweet their own tweets.
- Further, new tweets beginning with a username will reach all the followers.
Science & Technology
- The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has decided to test an Air-breathing Propulsion System after successful test of Reusable launch Vehicle- Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD).
- The testing of air-breathing propulsion system aims to capitalize on the oxygen in the atmosphere instead of liquefied oxygen while in flight.
- ISRO is evolving and testing various technologies to bring down the cost of launch vehicles and the air-breathing propulsion system is part of its new space endeavor.
- Food regulator FSSAI has decided to remove Potassium Bromate from the list of permitted food additives.
- This comes after a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed that potassium bromate – banned in several countries – is a cancer-causing agent.
- Note : Nearly 84% of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads contain potassium bromate.
- FSSAI - Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
- Afghan officials today confirmed the death of senior Taliban leader Mullah Muzamel, identified as the shadow governor of Helmand province.
- The report comes days after Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by an American airstrike in Pakistan.
- Renowned Pink Panther star Burt Kwouk (85) passed away.
- He was best known for playing Inspector Clouseau's manservant Cato in the Pink Panther films.
- Pinarayi Vijayan took oath as the 22nd Chief Minister of Kerala today.
- He is a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and currently a member of its Politburo.
- He will be leading a 19-member cabinet of the LDF which includes alliance partners CPI and NCP.
- Further, Vijayan will also handle the portfolios of Home and Vigilance.
- Taliban named Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada as their new Chief after confirming the death of former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour.
- Snapdeal-owned digital payments platform FreeCharge today appointed Govind Rajan as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and elevated Co-Founder and former CEO Kunal Shah as the company's Chairman.
- Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has remained as number one ranked player for 200 weeks, thereby becoming the fifth player in the history of the sport to achieve this feat.
- He is also one week shy of 100-straightweeks at the top rank.
- The other four players are,
- Jimmy Connors (268),
- Ivan Lendl (270),
- Pete Sampras (286)
- Roger Federer (302)
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