Current affair of 28th July 2019

1. 36th GST Council Meeting held in New Delhi

The 36th Goods & Service Tax (GST) Council Meeting was held in New Delhi Via Video Conference under the chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. It was attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur, Revenue Secretary Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.

The GST Council made the following changes in the GST rate on supply of goods and services which will be effective from August 1, 2019:
  1. The GST rate on all Electric Vehicles (EVs) was reduced from 12% to 5%.
  2. The GST rate on charger or charging stations for EVs was reduced from 18% to 5%.
  3. Hiring of electric buses (of carrying capacity of more than 12 passengers) by local authorities was exempted from GST.
2. Dr Jitendra Singh reviewed the status of implementation of various projects under MDoNER

The Secretary MDoNER Dr Inder Jit Singh said that two items of MDoNER have been included in the 100 Days Plan of Action of Government.  These are:
  1. To sanction/ start/ complete/ operationalise 200 projects worth about Rs 3,000 crore, which means on an average @2 projects for Rs 30 crore per day.
  2. Setting up of a Bamboo Industrial Park at Manderdisa in Dima Hasao district of Assam in an area of 75 hectares at a cost of Rs. 50 crores.
3. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh launches DDP Dashboard

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched here today a Dashboard of Department Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence, to help in effective monitoring of various initiatives and schemes of the department. Secretary (Defence Production) Dr Ajay Kumar explained the features and the main objectives of the Dashboard. He informed that through this initiative, the Ministry will be able to keep track of the major components of Defence Production, including defence exports, defence offsets, Intellectual Property Rights (Number of Patents registered) and MissionRaksha Gyan Shakti. He also gave a detailed account of the subjects on which the Dashboard will have capsulated information in a user-friendly interface that include defence projects under ‘Make in India’, startups in defence sector, investments in defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and artificial intelligence projects in defence.

4. Ministry of Mines organizes workshop called ‘Waste To Wealth’ on effective utilization of ‘Red Mud’ in New Delhi

Union Ministry of Mines organized an interactive workshop called ‘Waste to Wealth’ in New Delhi. The main aim is discussing productive utilisation of bauxite residue, commonly known as Red Mud. The workshop was presided over by Dr K. Rajeswara Rao, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines and was organised in association with Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC) Nagpur. Red Mud is a solid waste generated during the aluminium production process. It is an environmental concern due to the presence of impurities such as caustic soda and others minerals.  Global generation of red mud is more than 150 million tons and there exists a global inventory of more than 3 billion tons. It is around 9 million tons per year.

5. Two Defence Industrial Corridors to be set up in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

Hon’ble Finance Minister in his budget speech (2018-19) had announced setting up of two Defence Industrial Corridors in the country.In pursuance to the said announcement, it has been decided to develop one such corridor in Tamil Nadu and the other one in Uttar Pradesh.The Government has identified five nodal points in Tamil Nadu for setting up the Tamil Nadu Corridor which includes Salem.Other identified nodes are Chennai, Coimbatore, Hosur and Tiruchirappalli.

6. Nepal invited as Gita Jayanti Mahotsav 2019 partner

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has invited Nepal to be the partner country for this year's 'Gita Jayanti Mahotsav', scheduled to be held at Kurukshetra from December 3 to 8. He extended the invitation when Nepal's Ambassador to India Nilamber Acharya called on him here on Friday, an official statement said. The chief minister said Haryana has been celebrating Gita Jayanti Mahotsav for the last three years and every year a country is invited to become the partner country for the mega event.

7. BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting 2019 held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fight against terrorism, cooperation in areas of economy and people-to-people exchanges emerged as prominent themes in the one-day meet. For a meeting set to articulate the voice of emerging countries, the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ gathering here on Friday could not have started on a more discordant note. Opening the meeting, Foreign Minister of Brazil Ernesto Araujo called upon fellow BRICS members — Russia, India, China and South Africa — to “act on Venezuela” in support of Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself interim president of the South American country on January 23. Brazil holds the rotating presidency of BRICS grouping for 2019.

8. Badri Narain Sharma re-appointed Chairperson of National Anti-profiteering Authority for 2 years

The government on Thursday re-appointed Badri Narain Sharma as chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) which ensures that consumers get benefit of reduced prices under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). An official order said that Sharma, who was due for retirement on next Wednesday, will continue as the NAA chairman for another two years. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the name of Sharma, a 1985-batch IAS officer from Rajasthan, "for re-appointment for a period beyond July 31", the order said.

9. Lt Gen Paramjit Singh will be the next Director-General of Military Operations

Lt Gen Paramjit Singh is appointed as the next Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army. He will oversee various operations of the Indian Army including along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. He will take over the position on 15 October 2019.  He is currently serving as the General Officer Commanding of the Army's Nagrota-based XVI Corps. He has extensive experience of counter-terror operations including the 2016 surgical strike. He was involved in the planning of the 2016 surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

10. IIT Madras develops Agricopter to eliminate manual spraying of pesticides

Students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed a "smart agricopter" to eliminate manual spraying of pesticides in agricultural fields and help identify crop health by using a imaging camera. The innovation will allowing spraying pesticides ten times faster and with 100% precision at the same cost as manual spraying. Students at the Centre For Innovation, IIT Madras, identified manual pesticide spraying as an extremely hazardous activity as it endangered farmers' and labourers' health and resulted in a massive overuse of toxic chemicals.

11. Indian scientists from ARIES discovered 28 new stars in Milky Way

Students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed a "smart agricopter" to eliminate manual spraying of pesticides in agricultural fields and help identify crop health by using a imaging camera. The innovation will allowing spraying pesticides ten times faster and with 100% precision at the same cost as manual spraying. Students at the Centre For Innovation, IIT Madras, identified manual pesticide spraying as an extremely hazardous activity as it endangered farmers' and labourers' health and resulted in a massive overuse of toxic chemicals.

12. Khelo India Youth Games 2020 will be held in Guwahati, Assam

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Saturday confirmed that the third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games will be hosted in Guwahati next year. Kiren Rijiju announced this decision on his official Twitter handle. "I am happy to announce that the 3rd edition of the #KheloIndia Youth Games will be held at Guwahati from January 18-30, 2020," Rijiju tweeted. "The Games will see a participation of more than 10,000 athletes and officials. It will be conducted in partnership with IOA, SGFI & Assam as host State."

13. Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir retires from Test cricket

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket on Friday to concentrate on the limited-overs game, nine years after a spot-fixing ban halted his burgeoning career. The 27-year-old, regarded as one of the best left-arm pacers after countryman Wasim Akram, said he wants to move away from the traditional format. "It has been an honour to represent Pakistan in the pinnacle and traditional format of the game," Amir is quoted as saying in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) release.

14. World Hepatitis Day 2019 observed on July 28

World Hepatitis Day is observed annually on 28 July to raise awareness about the disease which causes inflammation of the liver and claims around 1.4 million lives every year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), after tuberculosis, the second major killer infectious disease is Hepatitis. Since 2010, World Hepatitis Day has been celebrated every year with a new theme. This year, the WHO has proposed the theme — 'Invest in eliminating hepatitis'.

15. World Nature Conservation Day 2019 observed on July 28

World Nature Conservation Day recognises that a healthy environment is the foundation for a stable and productive society. This day also ensures the well-being of present and future generations. It is necessary to create a healthy environment to safeguard the present and future generation. There are several threats to nature like deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, pollution, using plastics, chemicals etc. Earth has provided basic necessity to live like water, air, soil, minerals, trees, animals, food etc. So, we should keep nature clean and healthy. Industrial development and several other factors are also responsible for the depletion of nature. Whatever we do it affects on the globe because world is one and somehow linked together.

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