1. The policy framework to permit exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons such as Shale oil/gas, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) etc was approved by the Union cabinet. With this policy, there will be complete shift from One hydrocarbon Resource Type to Uniform Licensing Policy which is presently applicable in Discovered Small Field (DSF) Policy and Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP).
2. The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018 has passed by the Lok sabha. The Act enables creation of commercial divisions in High Courts and commercial courts at district level to adjudicate commercial disputes such as disputes related to contracts for provision of goods and services and construction contracts. It replaces the ordinance promulgated by President in May 2018 and amends Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015. The amendment is aimed at improving ease of doing business in India.
3. A tricolour logo for geographical indication (GI) certified products having a tagline “Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India” printed below it has unveiled by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry. GI tag is name or sign used on certain products which correspond to specific geographical location or origin. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods having special quality and established reputation. From now on, GI-registered goods will sport logo and tagline to make them more attractive. The purpose of logo and tagline for GI selected is to increase awareness about intellectual property rights (IPRs) and also and importance of GI products. In the open contest, winning logo was designed by Adri Chatterjee and winning tagline was coined by Akancha Tripathi.
4. A biogas plant at the community kitchen of the Golden Temple has decided to install by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. The move was aimed at making the religious shrine environment friendly.
5. A proposal to set up 55 courts under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the state was approved by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on August 1, 2018. One such court is already operational in the state capital. Total 660 new posts would be created and filled in these courts. The Chief Minister stated that each district would have at least one such court to deal with cases of crime against children, especially rape and to ensure that accused are convicted at the earliest.
6. 'Facial Recognition System' (FRS) is a 'powerful' tool is now equipped in Telangana police that would help them prevent crime and identify criminals/suspects at lightning speed. The tool will allow the police to identify potential offenders by comparing a suspect's face with lakhs of digital photographs of people including offenders, wanted and those missing stored in the central database of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).
7. The Kerala government told the Supreme Court that the custom of barring the entry of women between the age group of 10 to 50 years into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala is not permissible under the Constitution on August 1, 2018. The government argued that it is a Hindu temple and not a temple of a particular denomination. The state government said that the celibate status of deity cannot be a ground for barring the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple.
8. A bill provisioning death penalty or life imprisonment to those involved in piracy at sea was approved by the Union Cabinet. The main objective of the anti-maritime piracy bill is to have a domestic anti-piracy legislation to provide the necessary legal framework within the country for the prosecution of those involved in piracy-related crimes.
1. The ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) was held on August 1, 2018 on the occasion of China's PLA Day at Chinese BPM hut of Chushul-Moldo meeting point in Eastern Ladakh. The ceremonial BPM was marked by saluting of national flags by delegation members. The Indian Army and its Chinese counterpart have expressed mutual desire to maintain peace and improve relations at the functional-level along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
2. The US Congress passed a defence spending bill capping its security-related aid to Pakistan at 150 Million dollars, significantly below the level of more than one billion US dollars per year. The bill will now head to the White House for President Donald Trump's assent.
3. The US on August 2, 2018 advised its citizens to reconsider their visit to Pakistan and asked them not to travel to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province due to threat of possible terror attacks. In its latest travel advisory, the US State Department also asked its citizens not to travel to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir area due to threat of terrorism and potential threat of armed conflict between the two South Asian neighbours.
Science & Technology:
1. Gaofen-11- an optical remote sensing satellite was successfully launched by China as a part of its high-resolution Earth observation project. It is sub-meter resolution optical satellite developed by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). It was launched on board of Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province. It was overall 282nd flight mission by Long March carrier rocket. Gaofen means “high resolution” in Chinese. It is ambitious space project of China that aims to launch seven high-definition observation satellites before 2020.
2. Astronomers have detected a radioactive molecule in space, believed to be from a stellar explosion that took place in the 17th century. The radioactive molecule is an isotope of aluminium monofluoride The radioactive molecule was spotted with the Northern extended millimeter array and the Atacama Large Millimeter/ Sub millimeter Array radio telescopes.
1. Interceptor Missile - an indigenously built Advanced Air Defence (AAD) was successfully test fired from Abdul Kalam Island in Bhadrak district on August 2, 2018. It had successfully hit the target at a height of 20 kms in the sky. The test was conducted to validate some improved features incorporated in the system of the missile. The supersonic interceptor missile is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile.
1. The first extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS) has approved for another five years from 2018 to 2023 by Union Cabinet to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad. The Scheme is presently being operated through EXIM Bank, which raises resources from market to provide concessional finance.
2. The acquisition of IDBI Bank’s controlling stake by Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) as promoter in the bank was approved by the Union Cabinet on August 1,2018. The Cabinet has also approved reduction in Government shareholding in IDBI Bank Limited to below 50 percent by dilution. The acquisition will be done through preferential allotment or open offer of equity and through relinquishment of management control by the Government of India. The acquisition would help financially strengthen the LIC and the bank as well as their subsidiaries which offer financial products such as housing finance and mutual funds.
3. The Third Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2018-19 was released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on August 1, 2018. After assessing the current and evolving macroeconomic situation in the economy, the six members Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to increase the policy Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6.50 percent. The Reverse Repo Rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.25 per cent. The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate stand at 6.75 per cent.
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1. Seva Bhoj Yojna - a new scheme to provide financial assistance on purchase of specific food items by Charitable Religious Institutions (CRIs) for free distribution among people was launched by Union Ministry of Culture. The scheme aims to reimburse Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) to lessen financial burden of religious and charitable institutions providing food, prasad, langar (Community Kitchen), Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to public and devotee.
1. Boat racing team is set to be added to Indian contingent for next month's Asian Games in Indonesia following Delhi High Court orders. The orders came on July 30 on a petition filed by one of the athletes in the boat racing squad, Abhay Singh against Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) decision to not send a team of the water sport.
1. Jalees Sherwani (70), who had penned lyrics for several of Salman Khan hit films such as Dabangg, Wanted and Tere Naam, passed away on August 1, 2018.
2. Umbayee (68) a noted ghazal singer and composer from Kerala, passed away on August 1, 2018 at a private hospital at nearby Aluva due to some ailments.