1. Financial Inclusion Index
- Financial Inclusive Index would be released by the end of this year by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance.
- It would rate states on their performance on last-mile banking services availability.
- It will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.
- The index will have three measurement dimensions:
(a) Access to financial services
(b) Usage of financial services
- The single composite index gives a snapshot of level of financial inclusion that would guide the Macro Policy perspective.
- The various components of the index will also help to measure financial services for use of internal policy making.
- Financial Inclusion Index can be used directly as a composite measure in development indicators.
2. Jan Dhan Darshak
Jan Dhan Darshak app
- “Jan Dhan Darshak” app is a banking services infrastructure locator.
- It aims to bring banking within reach of every citizen through over 500,000 “banking touch points”.
- Comprising of bank branches, banking correspondents, ATMs, common service centers and post offices.
- The GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping of banking services will be a convenient method for any person to find the nearest banking touch point.
- Banking services available within five kilometers of every household.
- A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data.
3. Hassle-free online loans for MSMEs valuing up to Rs 10 million
- The government launched a common online platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) credit.
Web portal psbloansin59minutes.com
- A first in MSME banking credit space, psbloansin59minutes.com is one of its kind platform in MSME segment which integrates advanced fintech to ensure seamless loan approval and management.
- It will enable businesses to get loans up to Rs 10 million approved through a completely automated process within just 59 minutes, from SIDBI and 5 Public Sector Banks (PSBs):
- Bank of Baroda
- Indian Bank
- It is a strategic initiative of SIBDI led PSB consortium incubated under the aegis of the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance.
- Only Platform in the market with a Banker Interface which covers the Branch Level integrations (with maker-checker-approver) in tune with current systems of PSBs.
4. First assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA)
International Solar Alliance (ISA)
- The International Solar Alliance (ISA), an Indian initiative, was launched jointly by Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30 November 2015 in Paris, France on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- The Alliance, recognizing that solar energy provides potential member solar resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
- ISA is headquartered in India.
- Till date, out of 121 prospective member countries that lie either fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, 68 countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA.
5. 2nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
- The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organization consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
- The Indian Ocean Rim Association was set up with the objective of strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region with 21 Member States and 7 Dialogue Partners.
- The organization was first established as Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in Ebene, Mauritius.
- Established in March 1995.
6. 2nd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo, (REINVEST- 2018)
Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo, (REINVEST- 2018)
- The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE) is organizing the 2nd Global RE-INVEST India-ISA Partnership Renewable Energy Investors Meet & Expo from 3-5 October 2018 at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, National Capital Region of Delhi.
- The 2nd Global RE-INVEST will host the First Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Meeting of the Energy Ministers of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) countries.
- The 2nd RE-INVEST aims at accelerating the worldwide effort to scale up renewable energy and connect the global investment community with Indian energy stakeholders.
- RE-INVESTis a global platform to explore strategies for development and deployment of renewables.
- It showcases India’s clean energy market and the Government’s efforts to scale up capacity to meet the national energy demand in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways.
7. Union Science & Technology Minister inaugurates air pollution mitigation devices at ITO and Mukarba Chowk in Delhi.
WAYU (Wind Augmentation PurifYing Unit)
- It is an air pollution control device.
- For traffic junctions at ITO intersection and Mukarba Chowk in Delhi.
- WAYU is developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as a part of Technology Development Project being funded by the Department of Science and Technology.
- It is a prototype device that has been indigenously developed has the capacity to purify the air in an area of the 500-meter square.
- The device works on two principles mainly Wind generation for dilution of air pollutants and Active Pollutants removal.
- The device has filters for Particulate Matter removal and activated carbon (charcoal) and UV lamps for poisonous gases removal such as VOCs and Carbon Monoxide.
- There are two UV lamps and half kg of activated carbon charcoal coated with special chemical Titanium Dioxide.
8. Defense Acquisition Council approves procurement of one thousand engines for T-72 tanks
- The T-72 is a family of Soviet main battle tanks that first entered production in 1971.
- The T-72A version introduced in 1979 is considered a second-generation main battle tank.
- It was widely exported and saw service in 40 countries and in numerous conflicts.
- The T-72B3 version introduced in 2010 is considered a third-generation main battle tank.
Defense Acquisition Council
- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the Defence Minister was constituted In 2001 for overall guidance of the defence procurement planning process.
- Head of the Council is the Defence Minister.
- The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought and time frame prescribed by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
- The composition of the DAC is as follows:
- Minister of State for Defence
- Chief of Army Staff
- Chief of Naval Staff
- Chief of Air Staff
- Defence Secretary
- Secretary Defence Research & Development
- Secretary Defence Production
- Chief of Integrated Staff Committees HQ IDS
- Director General (Acquisition)
- Chief of Integrated Defence
9. India ranks 158th in ‘human capital’ score, behind Sudan
- The study, conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the request of the World Bank, is the first of its kind to measure and compare the strength of countries’ “human capital”.
- The study underscores that when a country’s human capital score increases, its economy grows.
- India ranks 158th in the world for its investments in education and healthcare.
- The nation is placed behind Sudan (ranked 157th) and ahead of Namibia (ranked 159th) in the list. The U.S. is ranked 27th, while China is at 44th and Pakistan at 164th.
- South Asian countries ranking below India in this report include Pakistan (164), Bangladesh (161) and Afghanistan (188).
- Countries in the region that have fared better than India in terms of human capital include Sri Lanka (102), Nepal (156), Bhutan (133) and Maldives (116).
- The study places Finland at the top.
Source- Economic Times
10. The Supreme Court upheld the Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid
Highlights of the court verdict:
- The Supreme Court upheld the validity of Aadhaar saying sufficient security measures are taken to protect data and it is difficult to launch surveillance on citizens on the basis of Aadhaar
- A five-judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra asked the government to provide more security measures as well as reduce the period of storage of data.
- The SC asked the Centre to bring a robust law for data protection as soon as possible.
- The SC said Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for openings of a bank account and for getting mobile connections.
- The SC said that Aadhaar must not be made compulsory for school admission and CBSE, NEET, UGC cannot make Aadhaar mandatory.
- Private companies can’t ask for Aadhaar.
- The apex court struck down the provision in Aadhaar law allowing sharing of data on the ground of national security.
- It added that Aadhaar is to empower the marginalized sections of the society, and it gives them an identity.
11. Cabinet may take up Operation Green scheme
- The Cabinet is likely to consider a proposal to launch a new scheme ‘Operation Green’.
- The Operation Green or the TOP Scheme is a simple scheme, announced in this year’s Budget, will be implemented on a pilot basis for two years after the Cabinet nod.
- It has a corpus of Rs 500 crore to aid farmers in times of erratic price fluctuation.
- TOP scheme will focus only on three produce tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.
- Three clusters for each produce have already been identified.
- The clusters will be linked directly to the markets.
- The state governments will be roped in.
- The subsidy will be given for setting up of the storage facility near the consumption centers.
- The Operation Greens aims to promote farmer producers organizations, agri-logistics, processing facilities, and professional management.
Source- Economic Times