Current affair for 17th July 2019

1. Govt launches “Kaushal Yuva Samwaad” to interact with youth and get their perspective on skill development

To commemorate World Youth Skills Day (July 15) and celebrate the 4th Anniversary of the Skill India Mission, the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) launched ‘Kaushal Yuva Samwaad’ (A Youth Dialogue) in New Delhi. It aimed at creating an open dialogue with youth across all skill training centres to hear their views, ideas, opportunities, and recommendations help the Ministry of Skill Development scaling up existing programs and improve the overall efficiency of the on-going projects.

2. Lok Sabha passes the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend NIA act, 2008

In a bid to give more power to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to allow India's anti-terror agency to investigate cases of terrorism targeting Indians as well as Indian assets abroad. The Bill, which amends the NIA Act, 2008, was first introduced by the Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah, on July 8, 2019. The Act provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in a schedule (scheduled offences).  It also facilitates the creation of Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.

3. Under Bharat Net, more than 1.28 Lakh Gram Panchayats linked with optical fibre

Optical fibre connectivity has been provided to more than 1.10 lakh gram panchayats under the BharatNet project, the government said today. The project is aimed at providing broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats in the country. Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha that the government has taken initiatives to provide Internet/ e-panchayat facility at all panchayats.

4. 4,200 AYUSH wellness centres to be set up in India in FY 2019-20

The government has plans to set up 4,200 Ayush wellness centres in the country in FY 2019-20 in several states, Ayush Minister Shripad Yesso Naik informed Rajya Sabha on Monday. Moreover, 2,500 new centres are planned to be opened within the first four months of the present government, the minister for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) said. The government has also provided financial assistance to set up integrated Ayush hospitals in 85 districts in various states and has plans to add more.

5. High-level talks to boost space cooperation were held between India & Russia in New Delhi

Russia has promised all assistance for India's Human Space Flight Mission and details regarding cooperation for the Gaganyaan Mission were discussed, the statement said, adding it also offered support to India in participating in the International Space Station. India and Russia held high-level talks here to elevate bilateral cooperation to the next level in the field of space, including assistance in India's maiden human space flight mission 'Gaganyaan', according to Ministry of External Affairs. "There have been frequent contacts between the two space agencies to finalise the details of the Gaganyaan Mission, which will carry Indian astronaut to space in 2022, to coincide with India's 75th anniversary of Independence," an MEA statement said Friday.

6. SC constituted a high powered committee to frame an emergency plan to prevent the extinction of Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican

Taking serious note of the alarming extinction of two Indian birds, Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican, the Supreme Court has constituted a high powered committee to urgently frame and implement an emergency response plan for the protection of these species. The court also sought responses from the Centre and state governments, where these two species of birds are prominently found, on a plea of wildlife activists.

7. Government to build India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) at Pottipuram in Theni District, Tamil Nadu

The Government of India has approved a project to build the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) at Pottipuram in the Theni District of Tamil Nadu. Briefly, the project aims to set up a 51000 ton Iron Calorimeter (ICAL) detector to observe naturally occurring atmospheric neutrinos in a cavern at the end of an approximately 2 km long tunnel in a mountain. This will help to reduce the noise from cosmic rays that is ever present over-ground and which would outnumber the rare neutrino interactions even in a detector as large as ICAL.

8. Pakistan to allow 5,000 Sikh pilgrims per day to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib

Pakistan would allow 5,000 Sikh pilgrims per day throughout the year to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, the Foreign Office said. The Foreign Office (FO) in a statement after the second meeting of officials of India and Pakistan said that experts of both sides also discussed technical details of the Kartarpur Corridor, including the alignment and other details of the proposed corridor. The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

9. SIDBI introduced web-based application system for contribution from FFS

With an aim to improve the turnaround time and increase transparency, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), has introduced a web-based application system for contribution from Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS). Applications for contribution from various Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) will now be accepted online and the status of the same shall be accessible to applicants. The provision of submission of online application will be on the home page of SIDBI.

10. RBI slaps a penalty on SBI &Union Bank for violating various norms

The Reserve Bank of India Monday said it has slapped a penalty of Rs 7 crore on the country's largest bank SBINSE -0.24 % for non-compliance with norms related to NPA identification and fraud risk management, among others. The penalty has been imposed on the bank for non-compliance of income recognition and asset classification (IRAC) norms, code of conduct for opening and operating current accounts and reporting of data on Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), and fraud risk management and classification and reporting of frauds.

11. HDFC Bank GDRs Terminated, Delisted From Luxembourg Stock Exchange

Private sector lender HDFC BankNSE 0.86 % Tuesday said it has terminated and de-listed its global depository receipts (GDRs) from the Luxembourg Stock Exchange due to low trading volume.  "Subsequent to July 15, 2019, the listing and admission to trading of the GDRs on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange will be cancelled," HDFC Bank said in a regulatory filing. Earlier in April, the bank had informed that in view of the minimal number of GDRs outstanding and the low trading volume of the GDRs, its board has approved the proposal for termination of the GDR program and delisting of 22 GDRs, which are outstanding and listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

12. HDFC  & CSC launches  co-branded ‘Small Business MoneyBack Credit Card’ for small traders and village level entrepreneurs (VLEs)

HDFC Bank and Common Services Centres (CSCs) on Tuesday launched a co-branded ‘Small Business Money Back Credit Card’ for small traders and village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs). The credit card is specifically designed for VLEs and VLE-sourced customers. It would give users easy access to credit for their day-to-day business expenses, according to a statement. The card was launched by HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri and CSC Chief Dinesh Kumar Tyagi. Personalised cards were handed out to a few women entrepreneurs during the occasion, the statement said.

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