Current Affairs 6TH August 2018

1.Magnitude 7 Earthquake struck Indonesia

A Powerful earthquake struck the popular Indonesian resort island of Lombok and Bali. The National Disaster Management Board reported that the death clang had risen to 37, then to 82. Earlier on July 29, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit Lombok and killed 16 people. Important Notes: Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 2,30,000 people in many countries.

 The 6.9 magnitude tremor, which triggered panic among tourists and locals on Sunday evening, was also felt on the neighbouring island of Bali, one of Southeast Asia’s leading tourist destinations.

 

2.IMPRINT-2 : Union Govt approved research projects worth over Rs 100 crore under IMPRINT-2 schemea

 

IMPRINT – 2 is a government initiative to address the major science and engineering challenges that India must address and champion to enable, empower and embolden the nation for inclusive growth and self-reliance.

 

Around 122 new research projects of 112 crore rupees under its Impacting Research Innovation and Technology ‘IMPRINT-2’ scheme are approved.

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a statement that out of over two thousand proposals, 122 best proposals were selected for funding under IMPRINT-2. Of the selected projects, 81 are sponsored by industry.

3.IIT-Madras develop first indigenous microprocessors under Project Shakti

Microprocessor are the kind of chips that India always wanted, but could not make. Now, computer scientists and a student team from the IIT- Madras have developed the first of a family of six industry-standard microprocessors.

The initial batch of 300 chips named RISECREEK, produced under Project Shakti, have been fabricated free at Intel’s facility at Oregon, U.S., to run the Linux operating system. Project Shakti was started in 2014 as IIT-M initiative and part of it is funded by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

On the test bench, the IIT design fared better than the A5, measured in terms of the DMIPS per megahertz rating, scoring 1.68 against the competition’s 1.57. At a frequency of 350 MHz, RISECREEK can meet the demands of defence and strategic equipment such as NAVIC (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite) and Internet of Things (IoT)electronics, its developers say. “Our process helps us develop the processor three times sooner than industry standards,” says Kamakoti Veezhinathan, Professor of Computer Science at the IIT- Madras, who led the project.

4.GST Council meeting: Sub-committee formed under MoS Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla to address MSME woes

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday set up a six-member committee under Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla to look into the problems of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The committee will consist of Manish Sisodia, Sushil Modi, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Thomas Isaac and Manpreet Badal.The issues related to law would be taken up by the law committee and issues related to rates would be taken up by the fitment committee. The reports would be presented before the sub-committee.

It has also decided to run a pilot to provide cashback for digital transactions.
Capped at Rs 100RuPay Debit and UPI-based transaction will get cashback of 20% for the GST paid.For this initiative GST council would a create software and has invited states to implement it.

5.Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 gets President’s assent

President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, that will deter offenders to evade legal process in India and flee the country. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 25 July and by the Lok Sabha on 19 July. A fugitive economic offender is any individual against whom warrants for arrest is issued for his involvement in select economic offences involving amount of at least ₹ 100 crore and has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, allows designated special court to declare a person as fugitive economic offender and to confiscate his property, including ‘benami’ ones.

Justifying the financial limit of ₹ 100 crore for invoking the provisions of this new law, finance minister Piyush Goyal had recently said in Parliament that it was being done to “catch the big offenders and not to clog the courts”.

6.Defence Minister Launched Defence India Startup Challenge

The India Startup challenge was launched with a vision to build an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in defence sector and make India self-reliant for meeting defence requirements.

The defence ministry also signed a MoU with 5 incubators. IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Mumbai, Forge IIT Madras, and T hub who will work in tandem to provide solutions for defence requirements in Airforce, Navy and for Army.

7.Karman becomes 6th Indian woman to enter top 200 Tennis rankings in Singles

Karman Kaur Thandi, on Monday, became only the sixth Indian woman to crack the top-200 rankings in singles, jumping 32 places in the WTA chart. Karman is now ranked 200th in the WTA list.

The 20-year-old Delhi girl, backed by Mahesh Bhupathi, has been in good form in the past few weeks, winning her maiden ITF singles title in Hong Kong and making the semi-finals in two others in China.

In April, the country’s top singles player, Ankita Raina, had broken into the top-200 and is now ranked 195 (-4).

Before these two girls, Sania Mirza, Nirupama Vaidyanathan, Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao had made it to the top-200.

8.Virat Kohli topped ICC Rankings for Test Batsmen

India skipper Virat Kohli today topped the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, riding on his brilliant century against England in the opening Test at Edgbaston.

Kohli thus became the seventh Indian batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011 to be ranked the number one Test batsman. Kohli scored 149 and 51 in India’s 31-run defeat at Edgbaston yesterday and went up by 31 points, which helped him end Steve Smith’s 32-month reign as the top-ranked batsman.

Kohli reached the top of the summit for the first time in his 67-Test career. Kohli now leads Smith, who had held the top spot since December 2015, by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to finish the series as the world’s highest-ranked batsman.

While Kohli gained in the rankings, other Indian batsmen lost ground, with Lokesh Rahul slipping one place to 19th and Ajinkya Rahane three places to 22nd. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan also slipped and now share the 25th position.

9.India slaps tariffs on 29 US items; new rates to kick in from August 4

 

India had last week notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its decision to impose ‘reciprocal tariffs’ on American products. The move comes after New Delhi got a cold shoulder from Washington DC on its request for exempting India from the higher tariffs announced by the US on steel and aluminium imports.

After a week of speculations, India on Thursday finally imposed higher tariff rates on 29 import items from the United States (US) but announced that new rates would kick in from August 4.

These will come into effect from September 18,2018.The products include: almonds, walnuts and apples. This is in response to rise in the import levies on certain steel and aluminium products earlier this year by US, which had a tariff implication of Rs.241 million on India.

The government has not officially clarified why it chose to impose the new rates — which have been doubled for some items — from a later date instead of June 21, as had been widely expected. But senior officials in the commerce department suggested that it may have been done to provide the US with some elbow room for negotiations next week when a senior US delegation visits New Delhi for official talks.

10.India Post Payments Bank will be launched by PM Modi on August 21

PM Modi on August 21 will launch India Post Payments Bank that will have at least one branch in every district. IPPB will leverage reach of 1.55L post office branches to provide banking and financial service to people in rural area. The Prime Minister has given time on August 21 to launch IPPB( India Post Payments Bank ). Two branches of the bank are already operational. Rest of the 648 branches will be launched across country in every district,” a senior official of the communications ministry told PTI.

 

This will create the country’s largest banking network with direct presence at village level.

Last week, IPPB CEO Suresh Sethi said that IPPB will go live with 650 branches in addition to 3,250 access points co-located at post offices and around 11,000 postmen both in rural and urban area will provide doorstep banking services.

It will link around 17 crore postal savings bank (PSB) account with its account.
It will also carry out  RTGS, NEFT, IMPS transactions.
 Government would distribute NREGA wages, subsidies, pension etc  through IBBI.