Indian Railways has planned to launch “Give It up Campaign” to urge
passengers to give up fare subsidy at the time of booking their train
tickets. This proposal is a part of 100-day roadmap document for Indian
Railways submitted to the Prime Minister.
campaign is intended to reduce passenger subsidy on Indian Railways.
According to Indian railways, it recovers only 53% of the cost incurred
from the passenger transport business.
in 2015, the government had launched Give It Up campaign to motivate LPG
users who can afford to pay the market price for LPG to voluntarily
surrender their LPG subsidy.
concerns over the pendency of bills, Vice President and Rajya Sabha
Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu has suggested that any bill pending for more
than five years in the Rajya sabha should be considered lapsed.
has also called for a debate on the rule that provides for automatic
lapsing of any bill passed by the Lok Sabha but pending in the Rajya Sabha
with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
the provisions of Article 107 of the Indian Constitution, bills that are
introduced in the Rajya Sabha and are pending there do not lapse with the
dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
bills passed by the Lok Sabha during the course of its five-year term and
pending in the Rajya Sabha get lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok
Supreme Court has halted further construction of the Kandi road project.
The Kandi Road Project seeks to connect Ramnagar in Kumaon to Kotdwar in
construction of the road has been stopped as it passes through a
“critical” corridor between the Rajaji Tiger Reserve and the Corbett Tiger
stay on Kandi road has come after an interim report was submitted to the
court on June 19 by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) that advises the
SC on forest matters. The CEC has observed that the road passes through
ecologically sensitive area and is being built without the statutory
approval of the National Board for Wildlife.
Rajaji Tiger Reserve spreads over three districts of Uttarakhand:
Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. The national park was accorded the
status of Tiger Reserve in 2015 and became the 48Th tiger reserve in
India. The Ganga and Song rivers flow through the reserve
Corbet National Park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park- the
first national park in India. It is located in the Nainital district of
Uttarakhand. The park was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1973- the first to
come under the Project Tiger initiative.
Union Agriculture Minister has said that only one in four of the intended
beneficiaries have received income support from the PM-Kisan scheme so
far. The reason cited for the delay is a long verification process for
central government has thus announced that farmers will get benefits
retrospectively from the time their names are uploaded in the database,
rather than from the time their details are verified.
PM KISAN scheme was announced in the interim Budget 2019-20. The scheme seeks
to a) provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer
families b) meet farmers emergent needs especially before the harvest
the scheme sought to provide an income support of Rs 6,000/annum to small
and marginalised farmers. The amount is to be transferred directly to the
bank account of the beneficiaries in 3 equal instalments.
recently, the Union Cabinet has approved to extend the ambit of the PM
Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana to cover all land holding eligible farmer
families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) irrespective of the
size of land holdings.
USA has retained India in Tier 2 list of countries in 2019 Trafficking in
Persons (TIP) report.
report categorises countries into three groups based on the Trafficking
Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The TVPA is a US legislation that requires
an annual report from the State Department on status of human trafficking
in countries across the world
2 is for those countries whose governments do not fully meet TVPA’s
minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves
into compliance with those standards. Examples: Brazil, Indonesia,
Pakistan, Italy, India.
3 countries are those countries which do not fully meet the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking and are not making any
efforts to do so. Russia, China, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Syria,
South Sudan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia are among 21 countries in the Tier 3.
1 Countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum
standards. Examples, USA, Australia, Japan, Spain
to the report, 77% of the cases, victims are trafficked within their own
countries of residence, rather than across borders. It also adds that
victims of sex trafficking were more likely to be trafficked across
borders while victims of forced labour were typically exploited within
their own countries
India, the report has observed that government of India does not fully
meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it
is making significant efforts to do so.
report has also highlighted Indian government’s failure in this regard.
For example, the report highlights that systemic failure to address forced
labour and sex trafficking in government-run and government-funded shelter
homes remained a serious problem.
report has recommended India to a) amend the definition of trafficking in
Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code to include forced labour trafficking,
b) establish Anti-Human Trafficking Units in all districts with dedicated
funding and clear mandates.
has stated that the issue regarding India’s entry into the Nuclear
Suppliers Group(NSG) was not on the agenda of the plenary of the NSG that
concluded in Nur-Sultan formerly known as Astana, Kazakhstan.
has been firm on its stand that only those countries which have signed the
Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT) should be allowed to enter the organisation.
has been objecting over the issue ever since India applied for the
membership of the NSG in May 2016.
and Pakistan are not signatories of the NPT. After India’s application
,Pakistan too has applied for the NSG membership in 2016.
had earlier called for a two-step plan to admit countries like India
(a)first NSG members arrive at a set of principles for the entry of
non-NPT states and (b)then move forward discussions of specific cases.
The NPT is
an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of
nuclear weapons and weapons technology to foster the peaceful uses of
nuclear energy, and to further the goal of disarmament.
states parties under the NPT are defined as those that manufactured and exploded
a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device before January 1,1967.
did not sign it as the treaty was discriminatory. India argued that
treaties like NPT were selectively applicable to only non-nuclear powers
and legitimized the monopoly of nuclear power by a few.
a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the
non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of
guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.
aim of the NSG is to ensure that nuclear trade for peaceful purposes does
not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The grouping has
48 participating governments and the European Commission acts as an
government has introduced The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on
Marriage) Bill, 2019, also known as the Triple ‘talaq’ Bill in the Lok
government promulgated an ordinance on triple talaq in September 2018 and
February 2019. This is because the bill though passed in Lok Sabha
remained pending in the Rajya sabha.
ordinance declared the practice of triple talaq as void and illegal and a
cognisable offence. It also prescribed a penalty of up to three years
imprisonment for an offence. It further provided for subsistence allowance
to married Muslim women and their children. The new bill is the same as
the ordinance in force.
August 2017, The Supreme Court of India had held Instant triple Talaq has
Talaq (Talaq-e-biddat) refers to a practice of divorce under Muslim
personal laws simply by pronouncing word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by
a Muslim man to his wife.
Ministry of Steel is piloting a proposal to slap quality control
regulations on tinplate and tin-free steel.
steel are sheets of steel coated with a thin layer of tin that have
specialised use in consumer products like cans, hair clips and pens.
proposal mandates domestic and foreign suppliers of these products to
adhere to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).This could potentially act as a
non-tariff barrier to curb imports of the material.
measures are being taken despite concerns raised by other arms of the
government that it may hit a large number of micro, small and medium
the government has said that this will not only boost India’s exports but
will also generate jobs in the manufacturing sector especially the MSME
ministry’s Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order,2018, under
which the new proposal has been moved prohibits manufacturing, import,
sale, hire and lease of such products unless they conform to relevant
standards so that no sub-standard products are sold in the country.
items need to bear the BIS mark which means domestic manufacturers have to
obtain BIS certification mark licences and foreign suppliers to India will
have to obtain BIS registration.
Multipurpose Lift Irrigation Project on River Godavari has been
inaugurated by Telangana Chief Minister. It is being touted as world’s
largest multi-stage, multi-purpose lift irrigation project.
project is unique because Telangana will harness water at the confluence
of two rivers with Godavari by constructing a barrage at Medigadda in
Jayshankar Bhoopalpally district. It would then reverse pump the water
into the main Godavari River and divert it through lifts and pumps into a
huge and complex system of reservoirs, water tunnels, pipelines and
project will support crop cultivation on 45 lakh acres of land. It will
also meet the drinking water requirement of 70% of the state and also
cater to the needs of the industry.
project has set many records. It has world’s longest water tunnels, aqua
ducts, underground surge pools, and biggest pumps. The longest tunnel is
21 kms long connecting Yellampalli reservoir with Medaram reservoir.
total length of Kaleshwaram project is approximately 1,832 kms, of which
1,531 kms is gravity canals and 203 kms comprise water tunnels.
are 20 water lifts and 19 pump houses in the project. It has 20 reservoirs
spread across 13 districts with a total capacity to store 145 TMC.
irrigation is a method of irrigation in which water is not transported by
natural flow but is lifted with pumps or surge pools etc. Till date, the
biggest lift irrigation projects in the world were the Colorado lift
scheme in America and the Great Manmade River in Egypt.
from CSIR-NEIST Assam have developed chemical process that turns dirty
coal into biomedical carbon quantum dots (CQDs) to help detect cancer
Quantum Dots (CQDs) are carbon-based nanomaterials whose size is less than
10 nm or nanometre. These carbon quantum dots (CQDs) were produced from
cheap, abundant, low-quality and high sulphur coals.
CQDs emits a bluish colour with high-stability, good-conductivity,
low-toxicity, environmental friendliness, and good optical properties.
are used as diagnostic tools for bio-imaging especially in detecting
cancer cells, for chemical sensing and in opto-electronics.
have said CQDs are futuristic materials whose demand in India has been
increasing leading to a considerable volume of import.
CSIR-NEIST technology can produce approximately 1 litre of CQDs per day at
one-twentieth the cost of imported CQDs to become an import substitute.
Indian Navy has launched Operation Sankalp to safeguard
its vessels transiting through the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Navy has deployed stealth guided missile destroyers INS Chennai and patrol
vessel INS Sunayna in the region for maritime security operations.
Besides, aerial surveillance by naval aircraft is also being undertaken.
operation has been launched in the wake of escalating tension in the Gulf
of Oman where two oil tankers were attacked.
Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region(IFC-IOR) is also keeping a
close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.
IFC has been established in 2018 at the Navy’s Information Management and
Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram.
is a single point centre linking all the coastal radar chains to generate
a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline.
this Centre, information on white shipping or commercial shipping is
exchanged with countries in the region to improve maritime domain
awareness in the Indian Ocean. White-shipping refers to commercial
shipping information about the movement of cargo ship.
Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a gulf that connects the Arabian Sea with
the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It borders Iran
and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south and the United Arab Emirates
on the west.
QS World University Rankings 2020 has been released. The Massachusetts
Institute of Technology(MIT) has topped the rankings for the eighth
has been ranked India’s best university for the second year in a row
gaining a global ranking of 152.Two other Indian universities namely IIT
Delhi (182) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (184) are now
are a total of 23 Indian institutions in the top 1,000.There were 24 in
last year’s rankings. Out of the 23,nine are in the top 500 including
Manipal Academy of Higher Education falls within the 701-750 ranking band
is the top private university in the country.
rankings are published annually by global higher education consultancy
Quacquarelli Symonds. The QS list ranks the world’s top 1,000
QS system now comprises the global overall and subject rankings alongside
five independent regional tables (Asia, Latin America, Emerging Europe and
Central Asia, the Arab Region and BRICS).
35th Goods and Services tax (GST) Council Meeting was held on 21 June 2019
at New Delhi.
GST council has extended the tenure of the anti-profiteering authority by
two years and has also imposed a penalty of up to 10% on businesses not
passing on benefits of rate cuts to consumers.
Council took a decision regarding the location of the State and the Area
Benches for the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) for
various States and Union Territories with legislature. It has been decided
to have a common State Bench for the States of Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur
and Arunachal Pradesh.
Council has also decided to use Aadhaar as the identity and address proof
required for registration for GST. No other documents will be required and
authentication can be done using a one time password.
Council decided to introduce electronic invoicing system in a phase-wise
manner for business-to-business transactions.
would help taxpayers in backward integration and automation of tax
relevant processes. It would also help tax authorities in combating the
menace of tax evasion.
the council deliberated on the reduction of the tax slab on electric
vehicles to 5% from 12%,it could not reach the conclusion. The matter of
GST rate cuts for the electric vehicles was sent to the Fitment Committee
for further consideration.
Minister will attend the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan from June 27-29,2019.
theme of the summit is “Human centred future society”. The summit will
take up digital economy, artificial intelligence, global health, ageing
and marine plastic waste as subjects of deliberation.
Government has said that former Union minister Suresh Prabhu would be the
sherpa for the summit. A sherpa is a government representative who leads
the preparations for a conference such as the G-20.
PM is likely to pitch for (a) tough measures to enable return of economic
fugitives to their native countries (b) seek strong actions against terror
financing and (c)focus on multilateralism and WTO reforms.
is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors
from 20 major economies formed in 1999.The group accounts for 85% of world
GDP and two-thirds of the population. They have no permanent staff of its
own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into
members of the G20 consists of 19 individual countries plus the European
Union (EU).The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia,
Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan,
Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United
Kingdom and the United States.
objectives of the G20 are: (a) Policy coordination between its members in
order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth (b) To
promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future
financial crises and (c)To create a new international financial
of India has highlighted the importance of the government’s flagship
‘Khelo India Programme’.
the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament in New Delhi today, the
President said that the new government has decided to widen the spectrum
of the ‘Khelo India Programme’ to cover the entire country.
India programme was launched to revive the sports culture in India at the
grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in
our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
objective includes (a)Mass participation of the young population in Sports
through annual sports competitions (b)Identification of sporting talent
(c)Nurturing of the sporting talent through sports academies and
(d)Creation of Sports Infrastructure at Block, District and State/UT
Khelo India was revamped in September 2017.It had introduced a Pan Indian
Sports Scholarship scheme which would cover 1,000 most talented young
athletes each year across select sports disciplines.
Controller General of Patents, Designs and trademarks has granted the
Geographical Indication(GI) tag for Kolhapuris to a large area in
Maharashtra and Karnataka, covering four districts in each state.
are sturdy leather chappal that rose from its humble rural origins to
occupy the high table of fashion globally.
GI tag means that footwear produced only in these eight districts will
qualify to carry the tag of being Kolhapuris.
producers of footwear in any other part of the country will now be
forbidden from using the term Kolhapuris.
geographical indication(GI) is a sign used on products that have a
specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are
due to that origin.GI tags are given on the basis of the Geographical
Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act,1999.
tag secures the quality and authenticity of a product to a particular
geographical origin. It provides legal protection from duplication. The
first product to get GI tag was Darjeeling Tea.
has managed to avoid being placed on the Financial Action Task Force(FATF)
blacklist following support from China, Turkey and Malaysia.
FATF charter mandates support of at least three member states to avoid the
blacklisting. However, FATF has said that Pakistan will be blacklisted if
it fails to complete its action plan by October 2019.
a country is blacklisted, FATF calls on other countries to apply enhanced
due diligence and counter measures increasing the cost of doing business
with the country and in some cases severing it altogether.
has been under the FATF’s scanner since June,2018 when it was put on the
greylist for terror financing and money laundering risks after an
assessment of its financial system and law enforcement mechanism.
Pakistan was informed that its compliance on 18 of the 27 indicators were
unsatisfactory and asked it to do more to demonstrate strict action
against the terrorist groups.
India along with other global powers has been pushing for blacklisting of
Pakistan as the country has failed to meet international standards in
combating financial crimes and terror financing.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body
established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.It is a “policy-making
body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about
national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas. The FATF
Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
objectives of the FATF are to (a) set standards and promote effective
implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures (b) for
combating money laundering (c) terrorist financing and (d) other related
threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
and Kashmir Government is planning to open 18 AMRIT stores in all the
hospitals of the State.
stands for Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for
purpose of the initiative is to provide quality and affordable medicines
to the end users.
pharmacies operate under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare, Government of India.
offers more than 5200 drugs, implants, surgical disposables and other
consumables at average discounts up to 60% of the maximum retail price.In
the previous year,118 lakh people in the country had availed its services
and against MRP value of drugs.
US President has said the US military was ready to retaliate against Iran
but he called off the strike after being told 150 people would die.
statement came after Iran’s air force had shot down a US drone after the
unmanned aircraft violated Iranian airspace.
US military officials have said that the drone was in international
airspace over the Strait of Hormuz at the time.
shooting down of the drone was followed accusations by the US that Iran
had attacked two oil tankers outside the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf of
tensions between the two countries had started after Iran had stopped
complying with some commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal after the United
States unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and renewed sanctions
Nuclear deal which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
(JCPOA) was announced in 2015.
deal was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group (US,UK, France, Russia,
China and Germany).It restricts Iran’s nuclear programme in return for
lifting most economic sanctions against it.