“Current Affairs News – 13/07/2017”

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National News:-

1)Railways has launched RailCloud:-

  • The Indian Railways has launched RailCloud, a virtual server with an inbuilt security system that will enable faster connectivity at a reduced cost.
  • Developed by rail PSU RailTel at an estimated cost of about Rs 53 crore, RailCloud is aimed at optimising server resources and its management.
  • RailCloud technology enables maximising the usage of available server and storage resulting in accommodation of bigger data and more applications within same server space. This makes the system suitable to meet higher demand.

2)Saint Teresa’s blue-bordered sari an Intellectual Property now:-

  • The famous blue-bordered sari of Mother Teresa, who has been canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta by the Vatican, has been recognized as an Intellectual Property of the Missionaries of Charity.
  • The Trade Marks Registry, Government of India, has granted the registration of the trade mark for that pattern of blue border of sari.

3)Uttrakhand Government launches the Super 30 coaching:-

  • The Uttrakhand government has launched its own version of ‘Super 30’, which is an innovative educational programme. The aim is to improve the standard of higher education in the state.
  • Another similar scheme, sponsored by the state government, is also being introduced for civil services aspirants,
  • Announcing a third scheme for postgraduates, CM said 100 such meritorious students will also be selected every year for doing PhD and will be provided with financial assistance by the government.

4)Shri J P Nadda launches new family planning initiatives:-

  • Shri J P Nadda launches new family planning initiatives ‘Mission Parivar Vikas’ on World Population Day (11 July) to focus on 146 districts in 7 states with high TFR.
  • Shri Nadda stated that Mission Parivar Vikas is a new initiative conceived by the Ministry with a strategic focus on improving access through provision of services, promotional schemes, commodity security, capacity building, enabling environment and intensive monitoring.

5)A.P., Telangana and Gujarat top in ease of doing business:-

  • Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat are the three best-performing states in “ease of doing business” NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
  • One the other hand, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam fare worst in the rankings.
  • The World Bank, along with the Centre’s Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) was involved in the process of reviewing the evidence submitted by states/UTs regarding implementation of reforms for the rankings.

International News:-

1)22nd World Petroleum Congress:Istanbul:-

  • Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan chaired a Ministerial Session on the subject “Current Economic Strategies in Indian Oil & Gas Sector”.
  • He also chaired a Plenary Session on ‘Supply and Demand Challenges for Oil, Gas and Products’ at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress at Istanbul, Turkey.
  • The Minister launched an event on Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) as a part of process of promoting the upcoming oil & gas bidding rounds in India.

2)U.S. may tighten rules for foreign students:-

  • US is planning to tighten rules for foreign students. A proposal is under consideration by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • The proposal is part of an ongoing review of the immigration policy to ensure that it “promotes the national interest, enhances national security and public safety and ensures the integrity of our immigration system.”

Implications for India:-

  • Since the proposal requires fees to be paid each time a student reapplies, it could make the U.S. a less attractive destination for students from India.
  • Indians are the fastest growing group among the international student population in the U.S. There are 1,66,000 students from India pursuing higher education in the U.S. now, up from about 1,00,000 two years earlier.
  • A large majority of them pursue science, technology, engineering and math courses.
  • Around 1.4 million international students are currently present in the U.S.

3)Earth facing sixth mass extinction:-

  • The sixth mass extinction of life on Earth is unfolding more quickly than feared, scientists have warned. Scientists call this as a case of biological annihilation occurring globally.
  • Globally, the mass die-off — deemed to be the sixth in the last half-billion years — is the worst since three-quarters of life on the Earth, including the non-avian dinosaurs, were wiped out 66 million years ago by a giant meteor impact. On an average, two vertebrate species disappear every year.

Factors behind the loss?

  • The main drivers of wildlife decline are habitat loss, overconsumption, pollution, invasive species, disease, as well as poaching in the case of tigers, elephants, rhinos and other large animals prized for their body parts. Climate change is poised to become a major threat in the coming decades.

Economic News:-

1)RBI amends order on bankruptcy action:-

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has amended its earlier order asking banks to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against 12 companies which have outstanding loans amounting to over Rs 5,000 crore as on March 2016.
  • “The IAC (Internal Advisory Committee) noted that under the recommended criterion, 12 accounts totaling about 25 per cent of the current gross NPAs of the banking system would qualify for immediate reference under IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016),”.

2)SEBI amends guidelines for eligible foreign investors:-

  • Markets regulator SEBI amended the guidelines for eligible foreign investors looking to operate at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).
  • In case of participation of an EFI, not registered with SEBI as an FPI, but desirous of operating in IFSC, a trading member of the recognised stock exchange in IFSC may carry out the due diligence on its own or it may rely upon the due diligence carried out by a bank, which is permitted by RBI to operate in IFSC, during the account opening process of an EFI.

3)RuPay to tap renew deals with Visa, Mastercard:-

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is looking at increased uptake of its RuPay debit cards among premium customers, as deals signed between banks and its global competitors Visa and Mastercard expire over the next few years.
  • Though RuPay controls 42 per cent of the Indian debit card market, the share of its cards is only 16 per cent of total Point of Sale (PoS) and e-commerce transactions.
  • This is largely due to the fact that the majority of RuPay cards — around 220 million— are held by benefactors of the Jan Dhan Yojana scheme.