Daily Current Affairs - 01st Jul 2020

46 million girls lost to gender bias in India: Report

  • Preference for sons and gender-biased sex selection have led to over 142 million girls missing globally and 46 million girls missing in India, according to a UN flagship report that focuses on gender bias and violence against girls and women.
  • China (50%) and India (40%) together account for around 90% of the estimated 1.2 million girls lost annually to female foeticide. The report said the economic disruptions and income loss because of the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to increase violence against girls and women.
  • The three-most prevalent harmful practices are child marriage, son preference and gender-biased sex selection, and female genital mutilation, according to the report.

Bamboo sector will propel Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan in Northeast: Jitendra Singh

  • Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh has said that Bamboo sector will propel the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan in the North Eastern Region. He said, bamboo sector is going to be an important vehicle of trade not only for India but also for the entire subcontinent.

Bangladesh to charge fee for COVID-19 testing

  • The government of Bangladesh has announced that it will charge a fee for the COVID 19 testing done at the government facilities to avoid unnecessary tests. The Ministry of Health and family welfare issued a notification fixing the rate at 200 Taka for samples given at the collection booth and Taka 500 for samples collected from home.
  • Till now, the COVID 19 testing at government hospitals was being done free.

BoB plans to raise Rs 2,000 cr via bonds

  • Government-owned Bank of Baroda (BoB) said it will mop up Rs 2,000 crore by issuing bonds to fund its growth plans. Capital Raising Committee of BoB bank has approved issuance of Basel III Compliant Additional Tier I Bonds for aggregate total issue size not exceeding Rs 2,000 crore in single or multiple tranches.
  • Last week, BoB reported a standalone net profit of Rs 506.59 crore for the fourth quarter ended March, as against Rs 991.37 crore in the January-March quarter of the preceding fiscal.

Direct investment into country rises by 19 billion US dollar: RBI

  • According to the data released by RBI , direct investment into the country rose by 19 billion US dollar while portfolio investment declined by 13.7 billion dollar during 2019-20. It stated that international financial assets of Indian residents increased by 73.9 billion dollar due to the rise in reserve assets and overseas direct investment by 64.9 billion dollar and 13.0 billion dollar, respectively.
  • The RBI said that overall, net claims of non-residents on India declined by 57.6 billion dollar during the year. Despite a fall of 13.7 billion dollar in portfolio investment during the year, international financial liabilities increased by 16.3 billion dollar as direct investment and other investments rose by 19.0 billion dollar and 11.0 billion dollar, respectively.

EU opens borders to ‘safe’ countries

  • The European Union agreed to reopen its borders to 15 countries excluding the virus-stricken US, as the pandemic accelerated globally with more than 505,000 deaths worldwide. After days of negotiations, EU members finalised the list of countries whose health situation was deemed safe enough to allow residents to enter the bloc starting on July 1 -- but the US was notably excluded, along with Russia and Turkey.
  • Those on the list are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

FCC designates 2 Chinese companies - Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation as National Security Threats

  • The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated two Chinese companies - Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation as national security threats. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said both Huawei and ZTE have close ties with Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus. He said, US government will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit vulnerabilities in US communications networks.
  • The agency is considering banning these Chinese telephone companies from entering the US market. The US contends that Huawei’s equipment could be used by China for spying.

Govt to implement uniform stamp duty on transfer of capital market instruments from July 1

  • The Union government will implement the uniform stamp duty on transfer of shares, debentures, futures, options, currency and other capital market instruments from July 1.The rationalized system through centralized collection mechanism is expected to ensure minimization of cost of collection, enhancement of revenue productivity, capital formation and ease of doing business, while reducing jurisdictional disputes.
  • The government had introduced changes to the Stamp Duty Act last year by introducing a uniform rate of stamp duty on trading of shares and commodities which was being charged at different rates by different states. The changes were to be implemented from January 9 this year, but the measure was later postponed to April 1 and then to July 1, through a notification issued in March.
  • From July 1, stock exchanges will collect stamp duty on trading stocks and commodities on exchanges, while depositories will collect on off-market transactions, and deposit the proceeds with the central government, which will then be divided among states.

Govt.’s liabilities rise to Rs. 94.6 lakh cr. in Jan.-Mar.

  • The Union government's total liabilities increased 0.8 per cent to Rs 94.62 lakh crore at March-end 2020 as compared to the preceding quarter, a finance ministry report said. Public debt accounted for 90.9 per cent of total outstanding liabilities as on March 31, 2020 .
  • Total liabilities (including liabilities under 'Public Account') of the Government, as per provisional data, increased to Rs 94,62,265 crore at end-March 2020 from Rs 93,89,267 crore at end-December 2019.

India's AI enabled MyGov Corona Helpdesk wins two global awards

  • India’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled MyGov Corona Helpdesk has bagged two awards at the Global Leadership Summit and Festival of AI and Emerging Technology, CogX 2020. AI enabled MyGov Corona Helpdesk bagged two awards under categories of Best Innovation for Covid-19 - Society and People’s Choice Covid-19 Overall Winner.
  • The recently held CogX 2020 is a prestigious Global Leadership Summit and Festival of AI and Emerging Technology held annually in London.

India-Bangladesh form 50:50 Joint Venture Company for LPG business in Bangladesh

  • India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement for the formation of a 50:50 Joint Venture Company (JVC) for LPG business in Bangladesh. The agreement was signed between the IOC Middle East FZE, Dubai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and RR Holdings Ltd., Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, the holding company of Beximco LPG of Bangladesh.
  • The Joint Venture Company will help reduce the cost of import of LPG and make it more affordable for the consumers in Bangladesh.

INS Jalashwa brings back 687 stranded Indians from Iran

  • The Indian Naval vessel INS Jalashwa brought home 687 stranded Indians from Iran. The amphibious naval ship docked at the VOC Port in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. The ship has undertaken the humanitarian mission under the Operation Samudra Setu. INS Jalashwa embarked from the Bandar Abbas Port in Iran in the evening last Thursday with the evacuees. They were all the Indian fishermen who were stranded due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

NADA launches mobile application

  • The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) launched its first mobile application to eliminate the gap between itself and the athletes by providing easily-accessible information on various aspects of sport, prohibited substances and dope-testing.
  • NADA is hopeful that the app acts as a one-stop guide for all anti-doping and medication related information. It includes detailed information on commonly-prescribed medicines and can be used by athletes in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) to update their whereabouts, know about decisions from the disciplinary and appeal panels and for Dope Control Officers to record their availability for testing.

National Doctor's Day being celebrated today with the theme "Lessen the Mortality of COVID-19’’

  • National Doctor's Day is being celebrated today. The day is celebrated on July 1 every year to thank the doctors and physicians for their relentless service to the humanity. The theme of this year's Doctors Day is 'Lessen the mortality of COVID 19'.
  • In India, this day marks the birth as well as the death anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was one of the most renowned physicians in India and former Chief Minister of West Bengal.

New simplified process for registration of MSME as Udyam begins

  • New process for registration of MSME as Udyam will begin from July 1. It will be fully online, paperless and based on self-declaration. No documents or proof are required to be uploaded for registering an MSME. Adhaar Number will be required for registration.
  • The new portal for Udyam Registration is www.udyamregistration.gov.in.
  • The Ministry said that after completion of the process of registration, an Udyam Registration Certificate will be issued. There will be no need for renewal of Registration. It said, Registration Process is totally free.

ONGC reports first-ever quarterly loss

  • State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has reported its first-ever quarterly loss after it took an impairment on the slump in oil and gas prices. India's top oil and gas producer reported a Rs.3,098-crore loss in the January-March quarter compared with a profit of Rs.4,240 crore in the same period a year back.

Output of eight crore infrasture industries shrinks by 23.4% in May

  • According to the Commerce and Industry Ministry data, the output of eight core infrastructure industries shrank by 23.4 per cent in May due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Barring fertiliser, all seven sectors - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement, and electricity - had recorded negative growth in May.
  • During April-May 2020-21, the sectors output dipped by 30 per cent as compared to 4.5 per cent in the same period previous year. The eight core sectors had expanded by 3.8 per cent in May 2019.
  • These eight industries accounts for 40.27 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

PM announces extension of Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana till November to provide free food grains to poor

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced free food grains to 80 crore people across the country for five more months. The Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana has been extended till the end of November this year.
  • Under the scheme announced in the wake of COVID- 19 pandemic, 5 kg free wheat or rice along with 1 kg whole chana will be provided to each member of a family per month. Its extension will cost over 90 thousand crore rupees

Public & Private Sector Banks sanction loans worth over Rs. 1 lakh crore as of June 26 under ECLGS

  • Under the 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) backed by a Government guarantee, Public and Private sector banks have sanctioned loans worth over 1 lakh crore rupees till 26th of June. Out of these, more than 45 thousand Crore rupees have already been disbursed.
  • Public sector banks have sanctioned loans of over 57 thousand 525 crore rupees whereas private sector banks have sanctioned loans of over 44 thousand 335 crore rupees under ECLGS. The top lenders under the Scheme are SBI, Bank of Baroda, PNB, Canara Bank and HDFC.

RBI launches inflation expectations survey; to gather responses over telephone amid pandemic

  • The Reserve Bank of India has launched the July 2020 round of the Inflation Expectations Survey of Households where responses of the participants will be gathered over telephone in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As per RBI release, Hansa Research Group, Mumbai has been engaged to conduct the survey of this round on behalf of the RBI over telephone instead of the regular personal interview mode in view of the pandemic. The survey aims at capturing subjective assessments on price movements and inflation, of approximately 6,000 households, based on their individual consumption baskets, across 18 cities.
  • The results of the survey are used as inputs for monetary policy.

Swiggy, ICICI Bank in pact for digital wallet

  • Swiggy, an on-demand delivery platform, has launched its own digital wallet ‘Swiggy Money’ to enable a ‘single-click checkout experience’ on its platform. The full-fledged digital wallet, in partnership with ICICI Bank, will enable Swiggy’s customers to store money and be used for all food orders on the platform.

UK PM Vows 'Infrastructure Revolution' For Virus Economic Slump

  • Boris Johnson set out his vision for dragging the British economy out of what may be its deepest recession in 300 years, with a program to spend billions of pounds on infrastructure to build back to prosperity. Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed the U.K. will spend large sums on hospitals, schools and roads to jump-start the economy
  • The prime minister confirmed his commitment to long-term investment in some of the country’s most deprived regions.

Venugopal gets a year’s extension as A-G

  • The President of India has notified the reappointment of senior advocate KK Venugopal as Attorney General for India (AG) a period of one year from July 1. Attorney General is the Centre’s top law officer and chief legal advisor who represents the government of India in crucial cases before the Supreme Court.
  • KK Venugopal took over as Attorney General on July 1, 2017. He is the 15th person to serve as Attorney General for India. Venugopal succeeded Mukul Rohatgi who was the Attorney General from June 2014 to June 2017.
  • Besides, the AG, the serving Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta is also set to get an extension.

Women’s Indian Open golf cancelled

  • The Hero Women’s Indian Open golf tournament was cancelled in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament, co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour in 2010, was scheduled for October. It will now return to the Gary Player Course at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram in October next year.
  • The Hero Women’s Indian Open has been held every year since 2007. DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurugram, has been the venue every year except in 2013 and 2014, when the course was undergoing a re-design.

World Bank okays funds for Namami Gange

  • The World Bank said it has enhanced its support for Government of India's program to rejuvenate Ganga river with a $ 400 million (about Rs 3,000 crore) assistance that will help stem pollution in the river. The assistance will help strengthen the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people.
  • The Ganga basin covers a quarter of India's landmass, and is a critical economic and environmental resource for the country. It provides over one-third of India's surface water, includes the country's largest irrigated area and is key to India's water and food security.