- Gujarat: NPA drops 2.1%, RBI’s PCA works for PSBs
- Strong arm tactics of national banking watchdog, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), over Public Sector Banks (PSBs) with high bad loans seems to have been working, at least in Gujarat. After RBI put 11 PSBs under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA), meaning that these banks will have to freeze all their landing till bad loans are under control, the amount of their bad loans have decreased by 2.1 per cent, although rising marginally in per cent terms, according to April-June quarter report of State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) in Gujarat.
- However, bad loans of remaining nine PSBs (not including State Bank of India – SBI) have risen both in absolute terms (by 12.19 per cent) and in percentage (by 0.64 percentage points).
· IWC defeated the proposal to create Whale Sanctuary
- The International Whaling Commission (IWC) defeated a proposal to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic at a meeting in Brazil. The proposal received support from 39 countries but was opposed by 25. Brazil first introduced the proposal in 2001.
- Japan and few other nations argued that there is no need for sanctuary because countries are not currently doing commercial whaling in the South Atlantic. Other environmental groups and conservationists argued that the sanctuary would protect whales from being hunted, trapped in fishing gear or struck by ships.
· NASA to launch ICESat-2 to measure melting ice
- NASAis set to launch the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2), a satellite equipped with the most advanced laser instrument of its kind. ICESat-2 will provide observations of how the Earth’s ice sheets, glaciers and sea ice are changing.
- ICESat-2 represents a major technological leap in the ability to measure changes in ice height.
- ICESat-2 will measure height using Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS). It measures the height by calculating the amount of time taken by individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.
- ATLAS will fire 10,000 times each second, sending hundreds of trillions of photons to the ground in six beams of green light. ICESat-2 will measure the heights of the ice along the same path in the polar regions four times a year to provide seasonal ice elevation changes.
· UN alarms the rise of global hunger due to climate change
- The United Nationssaid that the number of hungry peoplein the world is growing again. In much of the developing world, it is due to climate change that causes havoc on crop production. South America and Africa face acute food insecurity and malnutrition.
- UN agencies said in an annual report that the number of hungry people facing chronic food deprivation increased to 821 millionin 2017 from 804 million in 2016.
- The analysis in the report found that climate variability, extreme drought and floods are the reasons that affect the production of wheat, rice and maize in tropical and temperate regions.
- UN is to target groups that are most vulnerable to malnutrition, including infants, children, adolescent girls and women. It called for greater efforts to promote policies that help communities build resilience.
- Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launches National Scholarship Portal Mobile App
- Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launched the country’s first “National Scholarship Portal Mobile App” (NSP Mobile App).
- Speaking on the occasion, Shri Naqvi said that this “National Scholarship Portal Mobile App” will ensure a smooth, accessible and hassle-free scholarship system for students from poor and weaker sections.
- He said that all the scholarships are being given directly into bank accounts of the needy students under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode through the National Scholarship Portal which has ensured that there is no scope for duplication and leakage.
- INMAS develops India’s first indigenous anti-nuclear medical kit
- In a major shot in the arm for paramilitary and police forces, scientists at a central research institute claim to have developed India’s first indigenous medical kit that may ensure protection from serious injuries and faster healing of wounds resulting from nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage.
- The kit, developed after two decades of work by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), has over 25 items, including radio-protectors that provide 80-90 per cent protection against radiation.
- Developed in India for the first time, it’s a potent alternative to similar kits that were till now being procured from strategically advanced nations such as the US and Russia at much higher prices.
· Government bans Saridon and 327 other medicines over safety concerns
- The government has banned manufacturing, sale and distribution of 328 Fixed Dose Combination(FDC) drugs including the painkiller Saridon, the skin cream Panderm, combination diabetes drug Gluconorm, antibiotic Lupidicl, x and antibacterial Taxim AZ with immediate effect citing safety concerns.
- The banned FDCs account for about Rs 2,500 crore.
· Union Government approves 100% Electrification Of Railways By 2021-22
- This initiative will cost the government around Rs12,134 crore.
- The main aim is to electrify 108 sections of the railways covering 13,675 route kilometres of tracks.
- Indian Railways is the largest rail networks in the world with 67,368km of tracks and 22,550 trains that carry 22.24 million passengers and 3.04 million tonnes of freight every day.
· Kolkata tops in 4G Coverage in India, Jammu and Kashmir ranked last
- Kolkata has topped OpenSignal’s list of 4G availabilitywith over 7% coverage, across all of India’s 22 telecom circles for the May-July period this year.
- It is followed by Punjab (89.8%), Bihar (89.2%), Madhya Pradesh (89.1%) and Odisha (89%).
- The Jammu and Kashmir circle comes at the last spot with 80.23 percent 4G availability.
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