Current affair of 29th July 2019

1. Parliament passes Finance Bill 2019 and Appropriation Bill 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asserted her Budget proposals are aimed at improving ease of living and reducing pain of citizen, even as she did not accept the opposition demands of withdrawing cess on petrol-diesel and 2 per cent TDS on cash withdrawal. Replying to the discussion in Lok Sabha on Finance Bill (2) 2019, which contains tax proposals for the current fiscal, the Minister said various initiatives in the Budget seek to promote a less-cash economy.

2. Average Monthly Income per Agricultural Household has estimated Rs. 6426: Agriculture ministry

The average monthly income per agricultural household from all sources is less than Rs. 6,500, said Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday. In a written reply to question posed by BJP MP from Dausa Kirodi Lal Meena, Tomar said, "The latest available estimates of average income per agricultural household in the country are based on the Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households conducted by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) during its 70th round (January 2013-December 2013). As per the survey results, the average monthly income per agricultural household from all sources is estimated to be Rs. 6,426."

3. “Pink coaches” introduced for women by the Northeast Frontier Railway zone

Indian Railways'Northeast Frontier Railway zone has started a unique initiative to earmark a special portion of the SLR coach with pink colour. This is done to specially help the women passengers with better safety and security. This special colour will help the women passenger to easily identify the coach in the platform even during rush hours. Eight trains in Rangiya division of the Northeast Frontier Railway have begun operations with some pink coaches, exclusively for women.

4. 5th edition of Dharma-Dhamma conference held in Rajgir, Bihar

The fifth international Dharma-Dhamma conference was inaugurated here on Saturday by Union Minister of State Kiren Rijiju in the presence of Sri Lanka's Home Minister Gamini Jaiwickrama Perera, Bhutan's Home and Culture Minister Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav and Juna Akhada's Awadheshananda Giri Ji Maharaj. This conference will be held on two days between July 27-28. 200 delegates from 15 countries have registered themselves as participants in the conference. The main purpose of this conference is to address people about the terror, violence and global warming prevalent in the world.

5. Democratic Republic of Congo to launch surveillance, vaccination training to tackle Ebola

The fight against Ebola has been scaled up in the country after the World Health Organization (WHO) sounded an alarm over the outbreak. The global health body declared the disease an international health emergency after a case was confirmed in Goma, a densely populated eastern city that borders Rwanda. "People traveling from Goma, including across the border into Rwanda, everyone's being checked. So over the course of these outbreak, Congolese supported by international committees have tested over 70 million travelers," said Peter Graaff, the director of World Health Organizations' Emergency Operations.

6. Bangladesh records highest level of Dengue cases in 18 years

Number of dengue patients in Bangladesh has reached its highest level since it was first detected in 2000. According to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) 10528 patients have been infected with dengue till Saturday. Close to 700 more people were reported with dengue infection across the country on Saturday. 8 people have died in the current spate of dengue outbreak but the numbers are likely to be much higher going by the reports coming from various parts of the country and delay in collecting information by the official agencies. The hospitals in Dhaka are crowded with dengue patients.

7. An Account Aggregator platform “Sahamati” introduced to Solve Fintech’s Data Problem

Infosys cofounder and its former chairman Nandan Nilekanibrought a phase of disruption  for digital India with the work on Aadhaar and the subsequent push from IndiaStack. Nilekani has now introduced a new model which could change the game for the fintech ecosystem in India in the form of account aggregator. Nilekani debuted Sahamati, a collective of account aggregator focussed on fintech data and addressing the friction in accessing this data. The Sahamati framework addresses pain points and provides a digital platform for easy sharing and consumption of data between its partner entities, with user consent.

8. 7th Economic Census began from Tripura

Fieldwork in other States and Union Territories will be undertaken in August and September. India’s seventh Economic Census began from Tripura on Monday and a similar task would be launched in other States and Union Territories across the country next month, officials said. “The three-month long fieldwork of seventh Economic Census launched today (Monday) in Tripura. The fieldwork in other States and Union Territories would be undertaken in August and September,” said Economic Census nodal officer Arup Kumar Chanda.

9. India’s Current Account Deficit to remain steady at 16-17 billion dollars in the first quarter

ICRA has predicted that the current account deficit (CAD) will remain largely steady for the first quarter of financial year 2019-20. This Moody's-affiliated credit ratings agency stated that the current account deficit in Q1 FY20 will print at $16-17 billion, from $15.8 billion in Q1 FY2019. ICRA predicted a contraction in India's merchandise exports and imports. The agency also forecasted that India's CAD will widen to $63-68 billion in FY2020, from $57.2 billion in FY2019, while remaining steady at around 2.1 per cent of GDP. "The widening in the merchandise trade deficit is likely to be absorbed by a mildly higher services trade surplus and remittance flows in Q1 FY2020. As a result, the CAD is expected to remain largely steady at $16-17 billion or 2.3% of GDP in the just-concluded quarter, relative to," said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA.

10. Promoters get 90 days to retake company after insolvency proceedings begin: IBBI

The insolvency regulator has notified rules that will give promoters and other stakeholder 90 days after the commencement of insolvency proceedings to re-take control of the company through agreements with creditors. The new rules also specify a limit of one year for the liquidation of such a company from the date of commencement of insolvency proceeding. As many as 378 companies with total creditor claims of ?2,57,642 crore have been sent into liquidation under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code till March 31, 2019. “Where a compromise or arrangement is proposed under Section 230 of the Companies Act … it shall be completed within ninety days of the order of liquidation under subsections,” an Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) notification said.

11. Indian cities contribute 59%- 70% of India’s GDP: IDFC Institute’s Report on Reforming Urban India

Indian cities need urgent reform in order to unlock their economic potential and transform quality of life, according to IDFC Institute’s report on Reforming Urban India. The report suggests that the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government needs to focus on recognising the extent of urban growth, improve land utilisation, empower urban local bodies and invest in public transport networks. According to IDFC institute, a think-tank, Indian cities are more urban than recognised and contribute between 59% and 70% of India’s gross domestic product.

12. IAF receives 1st batch of 4 AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack helicopters from the US

US aerospace major Boeing on Saturday handed over the first four of the 22 Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force while another batch of four choppers will be delivered next week. The delivery of the first batch of the AH-64E Apache helicopters to the IAF at the Hindan air base came nearly four years after a multi-billion dollar deal for the choppers was sealed. Boeing said the first batch of the Apaches arrived in India and an additional four choppers will be delivered to the IAF next week.

13. WHO recommends the use of innovative anti HIV drug Dolutegravir (DTG)

Based on new evidence assessing benefits and risks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended the use of the HIV drug dolutegravir (DTG) as the preferred first-line and second-line treatment for all populations, including pregnant women and those of childbearing potential. According to a release, initial studies had highlighted a possible link between DTG and neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain and spinal cord) in infants born to women using the drug at the time of conception.

14. Pakistan will send its first man to space in 2022

Pakistan on Thursday announced that it will send its first astronaut to space in 2022 using close ally China's satellite launching facilities. Pakistan's decision came as India on Monday successfully launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2. Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Science and Technology, said the selection process of the astronaut for the space mission would start from February 2020.

15. 2020 Tokyo Olympics will feature Table Tennis Mixed Doubles event

For the first time in the Olympic Games' history, men and women will compete together in a new Table Tennis mixed doubles event in Tokyo 2020. The Twitter handle of The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said, "On This Day in 2020: For the first time in Olympic history, men and women will compete together and compete for gold in the new Table Tennis mixed doubles event." Table Tennis made its debut in Olympics during the 1988 edition in Seoul with men's and women's singles and doubles. The 2008 Games in Beijing saw men's and women's singles and team events.

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