Current affair 12th July, 2019

1. WCD implements a Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances called “Swadhar Greh”

Many women who face violent crimes do not know where to go for support. For them, One Stop Centres (OSCs) have been set up across the country. The scheme of One Stop Centres was initiated in March 2015 for facilitating access to an integrated range of services including police, medical, legal, psychological support and temporary shelter to women affected by violence. The Scheme is funded through Nirbhaya Fund. OSCs are set being set up in a phased manner in all the districts of the country. The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India has already given approval to State Governments and Union Territory Administrations for setting up of One Stop Centres in all the 718 districts of the country. So far, 279 OSCs have become operational. These centres have offered support to over 1.93 Lakh women.

2. DBT 2.0 of Fertilizer Subsidy launched by D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Chemicals

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda launched the Phase-II of the Direct Benefit Transfer of Fertilizer Subsidy (DBT 2.0), here today. Minister of State for Shipping (IC) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya also graced the occasion. The Department of Fertilizers (DoF) has implemented the Phase-I of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system in fertilizer subsidy pan-India in Fertilizers w.e.f. March 2018. Talking about Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Less Government, More Governance, Shri Gowda said that only by bringing transparency in administration can the Government bring a positive change in lives of the people. DBT in fertilizer subsidy is such a step in the direction of bringing ease of living in the lives of farmers through use of modern technology and plugging leakages, pilferages and black marketing, the Minister added.

3. Defence Ministry signs MoU with IPFC and NRDC to implant IP into Defence Industry

The Defence Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC), Department of Defence Production, National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) and Ministry of Science and Technology to promote a culture of Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights (IP-R) in the Defence system. The partnership will provide a major impetus to “Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti”, which was launched in 2018 aims to provide a boost to IPR culture in the indigenous defence industry.  Under this mission, Defence Ministry has established Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC) in 2018 under the aegis of Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA), which has achieved ambitious targets of training more than 12,000 personnel on IPR and facilitating the filing of over 1,000 new IPR applications.

4. RPF launches “Operation Thirst” to curb the menace of unauthorized Packaged Drinking Water

During peak summer season there is heavy demand of drinking water. Due to closure of schools & festive/marriage season, the number of passenger travelling by railways also increases and so the demand of drinking water. To curb the menace of unauthorized PDW (PACKAGED DRINKING WATER) in Railway premises, an all India drive named “Operation Thirst” was launched on 08th & 09th July 2019 on the direction of DG/RPF, Railway Board, New Delhi where all the Zonal Principal Chief Security Commissioners (PCSC) were asked to crackdown these unauthorised activities. Almost all major stations over Indian Railway were covered during this operation.

5. 5th India-EU High Level Dialogue on Migration and Mobility held in New Delhi 

India and the European Union Thursday held the fifth High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Mobility here and exchanged views about ways to "realise the full potential of further strengthening cooperation" in this area, the Ministry of External Affairs said. Sanjiv Arora, the Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs) with the Ministry of External Affairs, and Paraskevi Michou, the Director General (Migration and Home Affairs), European Commission co-chaired the dialogue. It was also attended by the heads of mission and other representatives of the Diplomatic Missions of EU member states here. They were invited as observers to the dialogue for the first time.

6. Article 370 a temporary provision with respect to J&K in Part XXI of the Constitution: Government 

The government Wednesday said Article 370, which provides for special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is a temporary provision in the Constitution and Article 35A, which gives special rights to the natives of the state, was added through a Constitution order issued by the President of India. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy told Rajya Sabha that at present, Article 370 is contained as a temporary provision with respect to Jammu and Kashmir in Part XXI (Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions) of the Constitution.  "At present, Article 35A is contained in the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 which was added through the Constitution Order issued by the President of India under Article 370," he said in a written reply.

7. Chandigarh best performing state in the field of education in the Performance Grading Index 2017-18

Chandigarh has been ranked best among states and Union territories in the field of education and is followed by Kerala and Gujarat, according to HRD Ministry officials. As per the Performance Grading Index 2017-18, Arunachal Pradesh is the least performing state and has been ranked 36 on the index. Delhi was ranked ninth, behind Rajasthan (8), Punjab (7), Tamil Nadu (5) and Haryana (4), according to it. Arunachal Pradesh (36), Nagaland (35) and Meghalaya (34) held the lowest ranks, as per the index. The information was also shared by Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' in Parliament last week. Kerala is the state with highest literacy rate followed by Lakshadweep and Mizoram, according to the HRD Ministry officials.

8. Tamil Nadu to be the first state to manufacture electric cars: Minister

Korean automobile giant Hyundai's plans for its Chennai facility will help make Tamil Nadu the first state in India to manufacture electric cars, said the state government on Thursday. M C Sampath, minister for industries, said the state plans to attract companies that are moving out of China after that country's trade dispute with the United States. "Hyundai is working on rolling out its electric car for India and the global market from the Chennai facility. This is a milestone. We want to make the state an electric vehicle manufacturing hub," said Sampath in the state Assembly while presenting the demand for grant for the year 2019-20.

9. Gaganyaan National Advisory Council created

The Gaganyaan project is on track to be realized by the 75th Independence day or earlier. The design and configuration of major subsystems are finalised. The qualification tests pertaining to human rating of flight systems has commenced and Cryogenic Engine tests are in progress. The crew training plan is finalised and the crew selection process has commenced. The Gaganyaan Advisory Council comprises of Secretaries of Department of Space, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Defence Research and Development, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Principal Scientific Advisor to PM, Senior Officials from Armed Forces, Indian Coast Guard, Former Chairman of ISRO, Member of Space Commission, Former Director of Aeronautical Development Agency, Former Indian Astronaut, Directors of Premier Academic and Research Institutions and Heads of various Indian Industries.

10. ICSI rolled out UDIN to improve corporate governance

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has rolled out an initiative in the form of a Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) in an attempt to pursue heightened sense of self-governance and strengthen the practising side of company secretaries. UDIN will provide ease of maintaining register of attestation and certification services. It will prevent counterfeiting of various attestations and certifications besides ensuring compliance with regard to ceilings on the number of certifications and attestations. The initiative will also enable stakeholders and regulators to verify genuinity of documents signed or certified by company secretaries in practice, according to a statement.

11. India successfully lifted 271 million out of poverty in ten years: UN Multidimensional Poverty Index 2019

India has reduced its poverty rate drastically from 55% to 28% in ten years. 271 million people moved out of poverty between 2005/6 and 2015/16, according to the UN's latest Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report. While progress has been remarkable, the country still has the largest number of people i.e 364 million living in multidimensional poverty in the world. If one considers the 364 million people who are MPI poor in 2015/16, 156 million (34.5%) are children. In fact, of all the poor people in India, just over one in four-27.1%-has not yet celebrated their tenth birthday. However, the multidimensional poverty among children under 10 has dropped the fastest.

12. Ukraine inaugurates gigantic dome worth $1.7 billion over destroyed Chernobyl reactor

Ukraine and its European partners have formally inaugurated a new metal dome encasing the destroyed reactor at the infamous Chernobyl plant, wrapping up a two-decade effort. Branded as the world's largest moveable metal structure, the so-called New Safe Confinement seals the remains of the fourth reactor at the nuclear plant that was the site of the massive Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The 1.5 billion euro ($1.7 billion) structure was paid for via a special fund launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and sponsored by 45 countries.

13. Exim Bank signs Loan Pact worth  $124 Mn For Infra, Health Projects In Papua New Guinea, Senegal

The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) Wednesday said it will provide USD 800 million (about Rs 5,500 crore) credit to Maldives to finance developmental projects. Exim Bank has extended a Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 800 million to Maldives for financing developmental projects, Exim Bank said in a release. An agreement for the LOC was signed between Maldives Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer and Exim Bank Chief General Manager Sudatta Mandal. The LOC agreement was exchanged during the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Maldives, Exim Bank said.

14. France became the first country to pass GAFA tax on digital giants

France on Thursday became the first major economy to impose a tax on digital giants, with its Parliament passing the legislation in defiance of a probe ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump that could trigger reprisal tariffs. The new law aims at plugging a taxation gap that has seen some internet heavyweights paying next to nothing in countries where they make huge profits. The legislation — dubbed the GAFA tax (an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) — was passed by a simple show of hands in the Senate Upper House after previously being passed by the National Assembly Lower Chamber.

15. Japan spacecraft Hayabusa2 lands on asteroid Ryugu for second time

The robotic probe attempted to collect a sample scattered from a crater made on the surface of the space rock Ryugu in April. When last we checked in with Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft in April, it had blown a crater in a large rock that orbits the sun. On Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Japan), the robotic probe went in for a landing, and appeared to have successfully touched down on the asteroid’s surface. Hayabusa2 was launched in 2014 to collect samples from Ryugu, an asteroid that orbits the sun between Earth and Mars and has a diameter of just over a half mile. By returning to Earth next year with these specimens, the mission will help scientists seek clues about the solar system’s origins.

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