6th July, 2017

Important National, International, Economy, Sports, Environment & Ecology and Science & technology related news of July 6th, 2017.


Supreme Court asks government to formalise Election Commissioner’s appointment

  • The Supreme Court has asked the Union government to formalise appointment of election commissioners through law.
  • The Supreme Court has observed that even though the Election commissioners have been so far appointed in a very fair manner, there exists a legitimate expectation in the Constitution of India that Election Commissioners, who are charged with the free and fair conduct of elections be appointed through a “most transparent and just process” formalised by a law enacted by the Parliament.

EC to tally paper trail slips with EVMs

  • Election Commission has decided to mandatorily tally paper trail slips with the results of EVMs in 5% of polling stations in each assembly seat selected randomly, for all state and Lok Sabha elections.
  • Counting of paper trail slips, however, will not take place in more than 14 polling stations and less than five polling stations in each assembly seat.

Target of constructing 57,000 km of road

  • Government has set a target of constructing 57,000 kms of roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana during 2017-18.
  • According to the Rural Development Ministry, the roads will be constructed at an average rate of 156 kilometers per day.
  • Pace of construction of PMGSY roads reached a 7 year high of 130 km per day in 2016-17s against an average of 73 km during the period 2011 to 2014.

J&K assembly passes resolution for GST

  • Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly has finally adopted the GST resolution during a special session on 5th July and it’s the last state to pass the GST bill.
  • The resolution moved by state finance minister Haseeb Drabu was adopted through a presidential order calling on the Centre to safeguard the special status and exclusive taxation powers of the state.

MERIT app and e-Bidding portal launched

  • Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal has launched the ‘MERIT app (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency)’ and the e-bidding portal for offering an e-Bidding solution to States.
  • The app and the portal would help the states to select Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for procurement of power by transferring their domestic coal under the scheme of flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal.

AIIB approves USD 329 mn loan

  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved a USD 329 million loan to build access roads to 4,000 villages in 33 Gujarat districts.
  • It aims to construct & upgrade district and farm-to-market roads for the villagers and provide approaches to educational institutions, schools and hospitals.
  • It will also better integrate rural population and industries with national and state economy.

Electric Buses in Gurgaon

  • Haryana government will set up an environment-friendly transportation system in Gurgaon on the pattern of Poland.
  • In the first phase, 75 to 100 electric buses would be operated.
  • Each electric bus would help save about 4.25 lakh litres diesel & reduce carbon emissions by 1150 tonnes in 10 years of operation.
  • JBM Group would soon begin manufacturing electric buses under the Make in India programme.

EPFO ties up with 5 more banks

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has inked an agreement with four private banks and Bank of Baroda for the purpose of collection of provident fund dues from the employers and payments to its subscribers.
  • This is the first time the EPFO has roped in private banks, namely, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Earlier, the EPFO was making use of the services of only the state-run banks. This move of the EPFO will help the organisation to save nearly Rs 300 crore per year as the five banks have agreed to zero transaction charges.

July 19 as Save public sector banks day

  • United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as ‘Save public sector banks’ day.
  • Members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets & hold rallies at all centres across the country.
  • The main challenge that PSB face today is the alarming increase in bad loans.


First ‘White Tiger’ spotted in Nilgiris

  • A photographer named Nilanjan Ray is believed to have spotted a rare ‘white tiger’ with a pale skin colour for the first time in the Nilgiris.
  • The discovery has aroused interest among conservationists and forest officials. It is yet to be ascertained whether the white tiger is a true genetic mutant.

Scientist discovers reasons behind 2015 Chennai Floods

  • A study conducted by the University of Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay has found out that the extreme El Nino conditions and warming of the Bay of Bengal had resulted in unprecedented heavy rainfall in Chennai for three days between November 30th to December 2nd in 2015.

India – BRICS

5th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers

  • Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education was held on 5th July, 2017 at Beijing, China.
  • Indian delegation was led by Prakash Javadekar, Minister of HRD.
  • He highlighted some of the initiatives of the Govt. of India in education like National Institutional Ranking Framework which provides a relative ranking of Indian institutions, India’s indigenous MOOCs platform and SWAYAM among others.

India – Israel

India, Israel ink 7 agreements

  • India and Israel signed as many as seven agreements on areas including space, tech, water and agriculture.
  • A MoU was signed for setting up of USD 40 million worth India-Israel Industrial Research and Development and Technical Innovation Fund.
  • Separate MoUs were signed on cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link and cooperation in Electric Propulsion for small satellites.

India – Jordan

10th Session of the TEJC

  • 10TH India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee Meeting was held in New Delhi.
  • India and Jordan discussed ways to increase cooperation in diverse areas like customs taxation and visa to promote trade and investments between the two countries.
  • Discussions were also held on ways to increase ties in sectors like maritime, air and rail transport, renewable energy, smart grid development.


India likely to clock GDP growth of 6.9%

  • Indian economy is expected to recover in the coming quarters and is expected to clock a real GDP growth of 6.9 % in this financial year.
  • A report by BMI Research has said that India’s growth is expected to pick up following the negative ramifications from the demonetisation drive in November 2016.
  • Real GDP growth slowed substantially to 6.1 % year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016—17.


Yes Bank inks pact with Santander

  • Yes Bank has signed an MoU in London with Santander to promote India-UK trade and business opportunities.
  • The deal is aimed at Santander UK offering its clients in Britain access to banking facilities and on-the-ground support through Yes Bank’s network across India.
  • The MoU also covers access for Indian businesses looking to expand globally to access Santanders support network in the UK.

Indus OS partners with YES Bank

  • Indus OS has partnered with YES Bank to launch OS-integrated Unified Payment Interface payment platform in India.
  • Users with Indus OS will be able to use this UPI payment platform on SMS/ messaging, dialler interface, and on third party apps like WhatsApp.
  • Users will be able to initiate payments through a ₹ symbol in Indus Keyboard, within the messaging app.

SAIC Motor to set up Rs 2000cr car plant

  • China’s SAIC Motor has entered into an MoU with the Gujarat government to establish the plant at Halol where MG brand cars will be manufactured.
  • SAIC will set up a passenger car manufacturing facility at Halol in Panchmahals district of Gujarat with an investment of Rs 2,000 crore.
  • Project will create 1,000 jobs in the state.
  • SAIC Motor plans to bring the MG car brand in India by 2019.

World Affairs

US calls for new UN sanctions against N. Korea

  • The United States has decided to present a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council aimed at imposing new sanctions on North Korea as it has successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • An emergency meeting of the UNSC was called by the United States, Japan and South Korea to agree on a response to the North Korea’s ICBM test. In the emergency meeting, the US has said that the launch of an ICBM by the North Korea is a clear and sharp escalation. Under the new sanctions, the US has decided to use trade restrictions targeting those countries that continue to have dealings with North Korea. France has expressed its support for a new resolution.

US rolls out expedited entry

  • US has started rolling out for Indian citizens its Global Entry programme which allows for expedited clearance of pre-approved, low-risk travellers.
  • India has become the 11th country whose citizens are eligible to enroll in the Customs and Border Protection initiative.
  • Presently, Global Entry programme is available at 53 US airports and 15 pre-clearance locations.

Volvo cars to be electric or hybrid

  • Volvo has announced that starting from 2019, all of its new cars will be fully electric or hybrid.
  • This makes Volvo the first major traditional automaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
  • Volvo will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021. Three of them will be Volvo models and two will be electrified cars from Polestar


India 96th in FIFA World ranking

  • India has moved four places up to the 96th position in the FIFA World ranking released on 6th July.
  • This is India’s second best ranking, its previous best was the 94th position in February 1996.
  • India has been averaging at the 134th rank since the creation of the world ranking system. Among Asian nations, Iran leads at No. 23.
  • Germany topped the rankings followed by Brazil and Argentina.

India wins Asian Snooker Championship

  • Pankaj Advani-led Indian team demolished Pakistan in the finals to clinch the Asian Team Snooker Championship.
  •  Advani remained the only player to not lose a single individual match in the team event.
  • This title brings up Advani’s second Asian title this season and 8th overall while it was the first title for Advani’s teammates Rawat and Singh.


Dilip Pendse commits suicide

  • Tata Finance’s dismissed managing director Dilip Pendse allegedly committed suicide at his office in Mumbai.
  • In October 2014, SEBI had found Pendse guilty of illegal trades and banned him from accessing capital markets for two years.
  • In October 2014, the markets watchdog Sebi had found Pendse guilty of illegal trades and banned him from accessing capital markets for two years.


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