Daily Current Affairs - 07th Apr 2018

5% Uniform rate of GST to apply in all railway catering services in trains or on stations.

  • With a view to remove any doubt or uncertainty in the matter and bring uniformity in the rate of GST applicable to supply of food and drinks made available in trains, platforms or stations, it has been clarified with the approval of the competent authority that the GST rate on supply of food and drinks by the Indian Railways or Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. or their licensees, whether in trains or at platforms(static units), will be 5% without input tax credit.

Centre, Maharashtra Govt & World Bank sign 420-million-dollar project to help small farmers of Marathwada & Vidarbha

  • The Centre, Maharastra Government and the World Bank have signed a 420-million-dollar project to help small and marginals farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha region of the state.
  • The project will help in increasing climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensuring that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them.
  • The Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rain-fed agriculture. The project will take up a series of activities at the farm and watershed level.

Country's foreign exchange reserves hit a life-time high of $ 424.361 bn

  • The country's foreign exchange reserves hit a life-time high of 424.361 billion US dollar after rising by 1.828 billion dollars in the week to March 30, the Reserve Bank said in a statement.
  • Previously, the reserves had touched a record high of 421.914 billion dollar on February 9. It had crossed the 400-billion-dollar mark for the first time in the week to September 8, 2017 but has since been fluctuating.
  • Gold reserves remained unchanged at 21.614 billion US dollar.

Deepak Lather becomes youngest Indian weightlifter to win medal at CWG

  • Teenager Deepak Lather became the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a Commonwealth Games medal, clinching a bronze in the men’s 69kg category
  • The youngster, competing in his maiden Commonwealth Games, holds the distinction of being the youngest to hold the national record as well. He held the 62kg category national record at 15.

Gaganshakti: IAF to conduct biggest combat exercise from April 8

  • The Indian Air Force will carry out one of its biggest combat exercises 8th April to check its operational preparedness with a focus on dealing with any possible security challenges from China and Pakistan.
  • Defence officials said the two-week long exercise named 'Gaganshakti' will involve almost the entire assets of the IAF including its fighter squadrons and the main objective of the day and night drill will be to check war waging capability of the force.

Government bans imports of hormone oxytocin

  • The Union government banned imports of the hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in the livestock industry, where activists say it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals.
  • Often called the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.
  • The Government has decided to rely on domestic production to satisfy requirements of hormone. It has asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India.

Government launches UTTAM App for coal quality monitoring

  • The Ministry of Coal has launched UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) Application for coal quality monitoring. The app aims to ensure transparency and efficiency in coal quality monitoring process and bring coal governance closer to people.
  • The app has been designed for active participation of citizens as stakeholders in the coal ecosystem. The app seeks to monitor the process of Third Party Sampling of coal and coal dispatches across all the CIL subsidiaries. It will facilitate bidirectional channel between CIL and a common citizen.
  • The app provides coverage of Third Party Sampling which includes information on production, dispatch and quantity sampled of coal.

Indian Railways inducts New Machine 09-3x Dynamic Tamping Express for improved Mechanised Track Maintenance

  • Indian Railway has inducted three numbers of 09-3X Dynamic Tamping Express machines, the state of the art integrated track maintenance. These machines were inaugurated and flagged off by Shri M.K. Gupta, Member Engineering, Railway Board at Faridabad.
  • The New 09-3X- Dynamic Tamping Express is a latest high output integrated tamping machine having multiple functions, so far being carried out by different machines. It can measure pre & post track geometry, correct the track to required geometry, can tamp three sleepers simultaneously, stabilize and measure post tamping track parameters under load to ensure quality of work done. This eliminates the need for a separate stabilisation machine which reduces operating costs and track possession time.

J P Nadda inaugurates 69th Foundation Day celebration of Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute

  • Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the 69th Foundation Day celebrations of the Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI).
  • Government has rolled out a new `National Strategic Plan (NSP)’ to End TB by 2025 and VPCI and the Ministry should work together towards achieving this target.

Leander Paes becomes most successful player in Davis Cup

  • Leander Paes became the most successful player in the history of Davis Cup as he combined with Rohan Bopanna to not only grab a record 43rd win but also bring India back in tie against China in Tianjin.
  • Paes had made his Davis Cup debut in 1990 alongside Zeeshan Ali, who is now coach of the side, and grew into a legend in company of Mahesh Bhupathi, who is now the captain of the side.

Madhya Pradesh announces incentives for wheat and chana farmers

  • The Madhya Pradesh government has announced a special incentive of Rs 265 per quintal on wheat and Rs 100 per quintal for chana, masoor and mustard sold in the 2018 rabi marketing season. This is in addition to the Rs 200 per quintal incentive announced for wheat and paddy sold in the previous kharif and rabi marketing seasons.
  • The state hasn’t termed the scheme as a bonus and hence it won’t fall within the ambit of a central order, which curbs state governments from declaring a bonus over MSP.

Mexico offers to negotiate over US National Guard deployment

  • Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has said that he was willing to negotiate on his American counterpart Donald Trump's decision to deploy the National Guard on the US-Mexico border.
  • Trump authorized the deployment of the National Guard to the 3,200-km-long border in order to stop the flow of drugs and criminals as well as control illegal immigration.
  • The US said the National Guard will act only in a support role. But the Mexican Government sees the move as a militarization of the border.

Mithali Raj Becomes Most Capped Player in Women's ODIs

  • Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj has become the most capped player in women's ODI cricket after turning out for the 192nd time against England.
  • Raj, who is also the highest run-getter in WODIs and has the hit the most number of fifties and nineties, overtook former England captain Charlotte Edwards, who had appeared in 191 WODIs. Indian fast bowler Jhulan Goswami is the third-most capped WODI player.
  • It has been almost two decades since Raj made her debut for India in June 1999 against Ireland. She went on to score a hundred on debut and since then has continually climbed the ladder of success.

RBI raises limits on FPIs’ debt investment

  • The Reserve Bank raised debt investment limits for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) across all segments, which will cumulatively result in an increase of more than Rs. 1 lakh crore in fiscal year 2018-19.
  • RBI has decided to increase the FPI investment limits in central government securities by 0.5% to 5.5% of outstanding stock of securities in 2018-19 and 6% of outstanding stock of securities in 2019-20.
  • The limits on FPI investment in state development loans (SDLs) would remain unchanged at 2% of outstanding stock of securities.

RH300 sounding rocket launched for atmospheric studies

  • The RH-300 MKII sounding rocket developed by ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) was successfully launched from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • The rocket was launched by VSSC under Sounding Rocket Experiment (SOUREX) programme for atmospheric studies. It utilises this rocket to study Equatorial E and lower ionosphere regions of atmosphere. The study will enrich available atmospheric data and refine models used for tropical weather prediction.

Sathish Sivalingam gives India its third Gold medal in Weightlifting

  • India has another Gold to their kitty in the ongoing 21st Commonwealth Games. Weightlifter Sathish Sivalingam won the coveted medal by winning the men's 77kg event.
  • With this India's tally has gone up to 3 Gold, One Silver and One Bronze. All the medals have been by the country's weightlifters.

Sebi to take action against 14,720 entities for ‘non-genuine trades’

  • SEBI will take action in a phased manner against more than 14,700 entities for "non-genuine trades" through illiquid stock option segment.
  • Adjudication proceedings have been initiated against 567 entities involved in such trades in the first phase.
  • The markets regulator came across violations by 14,720 entities while it was probing 59 entities in a case related to alleged trading irregularities in stock options segment of the BSE.

Uttarakhand’s second Mega Food Park inaugurated at Udham Singh Nagar

  • Uttarakhand’s second Mega Food Park- Himalayan Mega Food Park Private Ltd inaugurated at Mahuakhera Ganj in Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district. It was inaugurated by Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. The first Mega Food Park in the state is located at Haridwar and has already become operational.
  • The mega food park has central processing center (CPC) as well as well as three Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) at Ram Nagar, Ramgarh and Kaladungi. The park also has facilities for primary processing and storage near the farms. It will benefit around 25,000 farmers in Udham Singh Nagar and also nearby districts of Nainital, Garhwal, Almora and Champawat.