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1st July 2017
US honours Indian cop
IPS officer Mahesh Bhagwat has won the U.S. government’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Hero award. He was awarded for his leadership in combating modern slavery in India, his role in elevating human trafficking as a government priority and his innovative approach to investigating cases. He has closed down 25 brothels in less than a year and rescued over 350 children forced into labour.
Highest GST rates in the world
GST rates in India are highest in the world among the 140 countries that have implemented it so far. India has 4 tax slabs: 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% which makes it the country with highest GST rate going past Argentina that levies 27% tax on goods and services. India has chosen the Canadian model of dual GST as it has a federal structure. France was the first country to implement GST
India asks Pak for consular access
India has once again asked Pakistan to grant full and early consular access to its national Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. India also requested early consular access to Hamid Nehal Ansari who was caught for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012. Jadhav has been sentenced to death on charges of espionage and sabotage activities.
31st anniversary of Mizo peace accord
The 31st anniversary of the signing of the historic Mizo peace accord between the Union government and Mizo National Fron was celebrated in Mizoram. The Mizo Accord was signed on June 30, 1986 ushering in an era of peace after 20 years of violence and disturbance in the State. The signatories were Laldenga, leader of the movement, R. D. Pradhan, Home Secretary, and Lalkhama, Chief secretary.
Pachnanda takes charge as DG of ITBP
Senior IPS officer R K Pachnanda took charge as the chief of the Indo-China border guarding force ITBP. Prior to his appointment, he was serving as the DG of National Disaster Response Force. He is a 1983-batch police officer of West Bengal cadre and was handed over the baton of about 90,000-personnel by outgoing Director General Krishna Chaudhary. He is the 29th Chief of the ITBP.
A Billion Colour Story
A Billion Colour Story has walked away with the top prize, the audience award, at the 8th edition of the London Indian Film Festival. The film is directed by Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy and produced by Satish Kaushik. The film is a powerful plea for Hindu-Muslim unity and religious harmony. The film festival was held in London and Birmingham.
Pakistan bans JuD front
Pakistan has banned Tehreek-e-Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir, a new front for Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa, as the international pressure on the country increases. TAJK gained prominence as a JuD front when it held pro-Kashmir freedom rallies and displayed banners & streamers across Pakistan on Kashmir Day. UN placed both JuD and FIF on its watch list in December 2008 and March 2012, respectively.
National Doctors’ Day
National Doctors’ Day is celebrated on July 1 all across India to honour noted physician and the 2nd CM of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was born on July 1, 1882 and died on the same date in 1962, aged 80 years. National Doctors’ day is observed to emphasise on the value of doctors in our lives and to offer them our respects by commemorating one of their greatest representatives.
Japan reveals plans to put a man on moon
Japan has revealed ambitious plans to put an astronaut on the Moon around 2030. This is the first time Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has said that it aims to send an astronaut beyond the International Space Station. JAXA plan would involve making use of NASA’s proposed Deep Space Gateway in cislunar space, which would serve as the jumping-off point for expeditions to the lunar surface.
Shamma appointed Indian envoy to Greece
Senior diplomat Shamma Jain has been appointed as India’s ambassador to Greece. She will succeed M Manimekalai as Indian envoy in Greece. Shamma is a 1983-batch Indian Foreign Service officer and is currently serving as Indian envoy to Panama. She had earlier served as ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire and has served in Indian missions in Italy, Philippines, Washington DC, Turkey and Argentina.
GST Council cuts GST rate on fertilizers
In order to give relief to farmers, GST Council has reduced the tax rate on fertiliser to 5% from the earlier 12%. Decision to reduce tax rate on fertiliser was taken due to apprehensions that price of the crop nutrient may go up. Council also decided to cut tax rate on exclusive parts of tractors from 28% to 18%. Council however did not reduce the rate of 18% on crop protection chemicals.
Great Immigrants Award
Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will be honoured with the prestigious ‘Great Immigrants’ annual award on US’s Independence Day on July 4. They are among 38 immigrants to be honoured this year for their role in helping advance the Us’s society, culture and economy. Vivek Murthy was dismissed this year in April by the Trump administration.
$500,000 to UN Peacebuilding Fund
India has contributed 5 lakh US Dollars to the UN Peace Building Fund. India has been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception in 2005 and has so far contributed $5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund. The fund was launched to support activities, actions, programmes and organisations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict.
India’s first-ever mega trade event
PM Modi inaugurated Textiles India 2017, India’s first ever mega textiles trade fair at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Event is organised by Union Ministry of Textiles, aimed at showcasing India as a global sourcing hub and investment destination. Event is expected to see participation from 2,500 international buyers over a 1,000 international & domestic exhibitors and several top fashion designers.

Infy names Sundaram Independent Director
Infosys has appointed TVS Capital Funds Vice Chairman and MD D Sundaram as an independent Director of the company, with effect from July 14. The decision was taken on the basis of recommendations by the Nomination and Remuneration Committee of the Board. Sundaram is a fellow of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants, India and a Post Graduate in Management Studies.
eVIN wins GSMA Asia Mobile Award
            Health Ministry’s mobile app eVIN has won the GSMA Asia Mobile Award 2017 for outstanding contribution to the UN’s sustainable development goals in Asia. Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) is an online real-time vaccine logistics management system developed and implemented by Ministry of Health and UNDP. eVIN is presently being implemented across 12 states in the country.
New CEO & MD of L&T
SN Subrahmanyan will take charge as the chief executive officer and managing director of Larsen & Toubro. The appointment marks a major change in leadership positions at L&T where Naik has served for over 52 years. Subrahmanyan is currently the deputy managing director and president of L&T. He will assume the new role of non-executive chairman for a period of 3 years beginning 1 October.
MRP, expiry dates now must on products
Ministry of Consumer Affairs has amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 to bring ecommerce companies and online marketplaces under its purview. Under these rules, ecommerce companies will have to display online the expiry dates and MRP of packaged consumer products. The companies will also have to display the country of origin on their online product pages.
Germany to fine social media firms
Germany’s cabinet has approved a plan to fine social networks up to €50m if they fail to remove hateful postings quickly. Law gives social media networks 24 hrs to delete or block obviously criminal content and 7 days to deal with less clear-cut cases. Social networks will also have to publish a report every 6 months detailing how many complaints they received and how they dealt with them.
Jio launches submarine cable system
Reliance Jio has announced the launch of Asia-Africa-Europe submarine cable system. It is the longest 100Gbps tech based submarine system that will stretch over 25,000 km from France to Hong Kong, with 21 cable landings across Asia and Europe. Jio provides Network Operations & Management for AAE-1 Cable System. It is a combined effort of telecom operators from Europe, Middle East & Asia.

2nd July 2017
DC’s highest-grossing movie
With the box office collection of USD 334.9 million, Wonder Woman has become the highest-grossing film of the DC Extended Universe at the US box office. With $670.68 million worldwide, movie already surpassed international numbers for Man of Steel and the domestic total for Suicide Squad. DCEU includes films such as “Man of Steel”, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad”.
Samsung cuts manpower for first time
For the first time in 7 years, headcount of Samsung Electronics came down in 2016 due to its restructuring in China. No. of employees fell to 308,745 in 2016 from 325,677 the previous year. Corporate restructuring in Samsung’s factories in China and other Asian countries led to overseas manpower cut. Ratio of female employees accounted for 44% last year, down 2% points from a year earlier.
India at lowest ever rank
India has slipped to 88th place in terms of money parked by its citizens with Swiss banks, while the UK remains on the top. Deposit by Indians in 2016 was down to 676 million Swiss francs — a record low. India was placed at 75th position in 2015 and at 61st in the year before that, though it used to be among top-50 countries in terms of holdings in Swiss banks till 2007.
Govt completes safety audit
The Road ministry has completed safety audit of 1.6 lakh bridges in the country out which 147 bridges were found to be unsafe during the audit. The government had launched an Integrated Bridge Management System to create data of all bridges and culverts in the country to avert mishaps. Technologies using nano, laser and sensor are being introduced for real-time monitoring of bridges.
Sebi slaps fine on Sungold Capital
Markets regulator Sebi has imposed a fine of total Rs 27 lakh on Sungold Capital and its 3 executive directors for allegedly violating norms related to public holding and disclosures. Chairman and managing director Rajiv Kotia was penalised 12 lakh for failing to disclose family’s shareholding. In a separate order Sebi slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh on five relatives of Koita.
International Co-operative Day
International Co-operative Day is an annual celebration of the co-operative movement observed on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance. “Co-operatives ensure no one is left behind”, is the slogan of the 2017 International Day of Co-operatives. The day was first celebrated in 1995.
Chief Executive of Hong Kong
China’s President Xi Jinping has inaugurated the new Hong Kong administration led by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the first woman to lead the city. The event coincided with the 20th anniversary of the handover of the city’s sovereignty from Britain to China. Carrie Lam is the 4th Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
India’s largest fresh water aquarium
Jharkhand Chief Minister has inaugurated India’s largest fresh water aquarium in Bhagwan Birsa Munda Biodiversity Park premises and laying the foundation stone for the upcoming Eco Park at Ormanjhi in Ranchi. It houses over 1,500 fishes from 120 fish species displayed in 58 fish tanks. It is built at a cost of Rs. 5.67 crore
Adi Godrej wins award
Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveries have been awarded the Global Leadership Awards of the US-India Business Council for their role in integrating India in the global supply chain. USIBC also presented its inaugural “Artistic Achievement Award” to Yashwant Shirwadkar. The President of USIBC is Mr. Mukesh Adhi.
BHEL signs pact for metro trains
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has entered into a technology collaboration agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd of Japan for manufacturing of stainless steel coaches and bogies for metros. The agreement covers establishing design, engineering and manufacturing facilities at BHEL using Japanese technology. Kawasaki manufactures trains for countries like USA, Taiwan etc.
RBI sees economic growth rate at 7.3%
The RBI stated the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like Goods and Sevice Tax and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3% in 2017-18. The Financial Stability Report 2017 bases its optimism to the lower fiscal deficit at 3.2%. Reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand will fuel growth.
TS Vineeth Bhatt awarded
TS Vineeth Bhatt has been conferred with the ‘Best astrologer of the world’ award at the ‘Russian-Indian economic dialogue’ round-table meet held in Moscow. The event was organized by Peacemakers International, a charity that works for advancement of conflict resolution through mediation services and training. Bhatt is from Kerala and lives in Bowenpally, Hydwerabad, telangana.
EESL signs MoU with Saudi Arabia
Energy Efficiency Services Limited has signed a MoU with National Energy Services Company, Saudi Arabia to implement energy efficiency programmes. As per the MoU, EESL will provide consultancy to execute energy efficiency programmes. The move comes in the wake of the Arab Kingdom working ardently towards reducing its power subsidies and introducing energy efficiency initiatives.
TN to set up Rs 2350 cr solar park
The Tamil Nadu government will setup an Ultra Mega Solar Photovoltaic Power Park in Ramanathapuram district at an estimated cost of Rs 2350 crore. State-run TANGEDCO will establish the 500 MW power park on Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) basis at Naripaiyur and adjoining villages in the district. It is one of the several new initiative launched by the government.
SIERRA ODC building wins award
SIERRA ODC building has been recognised as the world’s 2nd highest ranking Green Building, with a score of 103 out of 110 under LEED certification. The 3 storeyed building has been designed and constructed with an emphasis on increasing the efficiency of resource use  while reducing its impact on human health and the environment. The building is located in Coimbatore.
Economic Relations Secretary appointed
Vijay Gokhale, currently Indian Ambassador to China, has been appointed as Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs. He has served as Ambassador of India to Germany and also in Indian missions in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and New York. Gokhale will replace Amar Sinha, who had held the post for over a year.
Simone Veil passes away
Simone Veil, the iconic European feminist politician, has passed away in Paris, France. She played a leading role in legalizing contraception and abortion in France. She was the first female President of the European parliament since the Parliament was created in 1952. She was a Holocaust survivor. She lost her entire family to the Nazis.
Eight core sectors growth slips
The growth of eight core sectors slowed to 3.6% in May 2017 due to fall in output of coal and fertilisers. It was 5.2% in May 2016. In April 2017, these eight sectors had recorded a growth rate of 2.8%. In India, there are eight core sectors comprising of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.
National Biopharma Mission
The Union Ministry of Science & Technology has launched National Biopharma Mission, a first ever Industry-Academia mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development. Under this mission, the ministry also launched Innovate in India (i3) program to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector. i3 has been launched in collaboration with the Indian govt & World Bank.
Railways sign MoU with NBCC
Rail Land Development Authority has joined hands with National Building Construction Corporation for redevelopment of 10 railway stations across the country on global standards. The identified stations to be taken up initially for redevelopment are Tirupati, Nellore, Puducherry, Sarai Rohilla, Madgaon, Lucknow, Gomtinagar, Kota, Thane & Ernakulam. 403 stations will be developed in total.

3rd July 2017
AIIMS to adopt 50 elderly people
AIIMS in association with an NGO would adopt 50 elderly people, who are economically & physically challenged, to provide them with health care facilities. They will be adopted from various old age homes and society as per their health requirements and access to health care facilities. Geriatric department of AIIMS and NGO Healthy Aging India would provide free medicines at their doorstep.
India’s third biggest commodity exchange
National Multi Commodity Exchange will merge with Indian Commodity Exchange creating the country’s third biggest commodity exchange. The ICEX will hold a 62.8% stake in the merged entity, while NMCE shareholders will own the rest. The merger has been approved by the boards of both exchanges and is expected to be completed by December, subject to regulatory approvals.
Mah govt to remove Haji Ali encroachment
Supreme Court has granted the last opportunity to the Maharashtra government to remove encroachments near Haji Ali Dargah shrine in south Mumbai. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud granted two weeks to the concerned authorities to remove these encroachments. The direction came after the Dargah trust expressed inability in completing the task.
PM Modi releases a photo book
PM Modi released a photo book titled “President Pranab Mukherjee – A Statesman”, at an event in Rashtrapati Bhawan. It is a 340-page photo essay capturing moments from the Presidency of Pranab Mukherjee and is published by The Statesman. PM Modi presented the first copy of the book to President Mukherjee during the event. Mukherjee is going to leave his presidential chair on 25th July.
First Indian to win FIA F3 Championship
Jehan Daruvala became the first Indian driver to win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. His victory in race 3 comes 18 years after Narain Karthikeyan won in the British F3 Championship. FIA F3 is the toughest junior racing category in the world, having produced some of the best talents like Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. He now stands 5th in the 2017 championship standings.
PM Modi adopts wrestlers’ village
PM Narendra Modi will adopt Kakrahia, a village known for its wrestlers and wrestling arenas, under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. This will be the 3rd village to be adopted by Modi in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi. In past 2 years, Modi adopted Jayapur and Nagpur, as his first and second villages. SAGY is a rural development programme focusing upon the development in the villages.
PNB to block all Maestro debit cards
All Maestro cards issued by PNB will be blocked or hotlisted on July 31, 2017 for security-based reasons. All Maestro debit card holders have been asked to get it replaced free of cost with a new EMV chip based debit card from any PNB branch. The replacement is as per RBI advisory issued in 2015, asking all the banks to migrate to a much secured EMV chip based cards.
Free education for transgenders
Indira Gandhi National Open University has announced that transgender students can now study in any of the programmes offered by the university for free. This is set to benefit 4000+ transgenders in the state who have lost out on job opportunities as they don’t have necessary qualifications. Vice Chancellor, Ravindra Kumar announced the initiative during the 22nd Prof G Ram Reddy Lecture.
Kerala CM Vijayan launches G-Ride
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched G-Ride, a digital ride sharing platform designed and deployed for the IT industry. The platform has been developed by the Group of Technology Companies (GTech), the industry body of IT companies in the state. G-Ride app automatically matches co-workers and neighbours and help them travel together to work. It is available both Android and iOS.
Germany wins FIFA Confederations Cup
World champions Germany won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup by defeating Chile 1-0 in the finals at St Petersburg. This is the first time Germany has won the Confederations Cup in 8 editions of pre-World Cup tournament. The match winning goal was scored by Lars Stindl in the 20th minute. Despite dominating for long spells, Chile failed to turn 61% possession and 20 shots into a single goal
Agriculture budget from next year
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to present a separate agriculture budget from next year. He also asked the officials to form farmers’ associations at various levels. – from villages to the state to organise the cultivators. Farmers would also be provided training of modern and scientific methods of farming so as to increase the farm output.
Reliance Capital arm invests $1 mn
Reliance Corporate Advisory Services, an arm of Reliance Capital has made an investment of $1 million in alternative digital lending startup Billionloans Financial Services. Billionloans is a technology-enabled financial services company focused on providing flexible & affordable options to individuals and small businesses. It is the 2nd major startup investment, after Paytm, by Reliance Cap
US lifts laptop ban on flights
US has lifted a ban on laptops in cabins on flights from Abu Dhabi to US, after Etihad implemented tighter security measures. Ban went into effect in March for direct flights from 10 airports in the Middle East as U.S. officials were concerned about the potential for terrorists to hide bombs inside the computers. Etihad is the only airline that operates direct flights from Abu Dhabi to US.
China cancels Indian journalists trip
China has cancelled a trip of Indian journalists to Tibet who were to visit Tibet at the invitation of the Chinese govt. Cancellation of the journalists’ trip, which was scheduled from 8-15 July, came in the backdrop of a stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector. China every year organises sponsored visit for select Indian journalists to Tibet.
ITC crosses Rs 4 trillion in market cap
FMCG giant ITC has become the fourth Indian company to cross market capitalization of Rs. 4 trillion. Stock hit a record high and gained as much as 9.06% in intraday trade as investors continued to buy the stock after the govt notified that cigarettes will be exempted of additional excise duty under the GST regime. Earlier TCS, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank have achieved this milestone.
Chinese rocket launch fails
China’s second launch of its new-generation Long March-5 rocket was declared a failure after an anomaly was detected during its flight. Dubbed “Chubby 5” for its huge size – 5m in diameter and 57m tall , the rocket is designed to carry up to 25 tons of payload into low orbit. The rocket was due to carry the heaviest Shijian-18 satellite and was to launch China’s next mission to the Moon.
FINO becomes payments bank
According to RBI, FINO Payments Bank has commenced its operations as a payments bank with effect from June 30. It was 1 of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank. Earlier in January, Fino closed its Rs 400 crore domestic fund raising exercise that helped it meet key RBI guidelines including reducing foreign shareholding in the company.
Karnataka Bank’s Image Debit Card
Karnataka Bank has launched the ‘KBL-Image Debit Card’ to enable its cardholders to personalise the card with the image of his/her choice. The customers will have the option of selecting an image either from bank’s gallery of images or any image of their choice to be printed on the debit card. This will foster cardholders’ emotional attachment towards the cards.
65 MoUs signed at Textiles India 2017
65 MoU’s in the textiles sector were signed on the 2nd day of mega textiles trade fair, Textiles India 2017 held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. MoUs were signed b/w various domestic & international organizations from industry and govt, 3 of the MoUs signed were G2G MoUs. MoUs relate to exchange of information and documentation, Research & Development, commercialization of handloom products etc.
Shenoy bags Indian of the Year award
Writer Preeti Shenoy was honoured with Indian of the Year award by Brands Academy. She is India’s one of the top 5 highest selling women authors. Shenoy’s books include It’s All In The Planets, Why We Love The Way We Do among others. Brands Academy is a branding company in India to recognise achievements of personalities who have contributed towards building up the reputation of the country.

4th July 2017
New chief election commissioner
Centre has named Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti as the next Chief Election Commissioner of India. He will succeed Nasim Zaidi and will take charge as the CEC on July 6. He is an IAS officer of 1975 batch from Gujarat cadre and has served as chief secretary of Gujarat during Narendra Modi’s tenure as chief minister. He will be the 21st Chief Election Commissioner of India.
India successfully test-fires QRSAM
India successfully test-fired an indigenously developed short range and Quick Reaction Surface to Air missile from Chandipur along the Odisha coast. The missile has a strike range of 25-30 km and is capable of engaging multiple targets. It has been developed by DRDO and other establishments. The missile was tested for 2nd time to evaluate the performance of its canister version.
President clears bill banning hookah bar
President Pranab Mukherjee has approved a Legislative Bill to ban the hookah bar in Gujarat. Violation of this law will attract Minimum 1 year and maximum 3 year sentence, provision of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 fine is also mentioned in this amendment. Most of the hookah bars in the state were running on the restaurant licence illegally and also selling products which are harmful to youngsters.
Chandra to be chairman of Tata Global
Tata Global Beverages has appointed Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran as chairman of its Board with immediate effect. He will replace Harish Bhat as the chairman of Tata Global Beverages, the No. 2 tea player in the world. Chandrasekaran also chairs the Boards of several group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Indian Hotels and Tata Consultancy Services.
Uhel to lead UN Syria war crimes probe
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Catherine Marchi-Uhel to lead an international panel tasked with gathering evidence of war crimes in Syria’s 6 year war. She has served as an international judge in Kosovo, Cambodia and at war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia. She currently works as the ombudsperson for a Security Council committee that deals with IS group & Al-Qaeda.
North Korea fires another missile
North Korea has successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting anywhere in the world. The Hwasong-14 missile reached an altitude of 2,802km and hit its target precisely after flying for 933km in 39 minutes. It is a game-changing development in North Korea’s push to militarily challenge US. Weapons analyst says missile could be powerful enough to reach Alaska
Prime Minister Modi leaves for Israel
Prime Minister Modi has left for Israel, the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish nation. He will discuss with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu the common challenges like terrorism and ways to boost economic ties. He will be in Israel till July 6 before travelling to Hamburg to attend a G-20 summit. This year marks 25 years of diplomatic relations b/w India and Israel.
India-Thailand military exercise begins
A 14-day joint military training exercise between India and Thailand has started in Himachal Pradesh at Bakloh in Chamba district. Exercise Maitree 2017 is a continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army. The aim of this exercise is to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies.
US celebrates its 241st Independence Day
US will celebrate its 241st Independence Day on July 4, 2017. On that day in 1776, 13 British colonies in America signed the Declaration of Independence from Britain. The declaration was made through the adoption the Declaration of Independence, which was drafted by founding father Thomas Jefferson. The day is associated with patriotic displays, barbecues, picnics, fireworks and parades.
Kambala is now legal in Karnataka
President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the bill passed by Karnataka Assembly to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’. In February, Karnataka govt had passed a bill to legalise Kambala, the traditional buffalo race as well as bullock cart race in the state. Kambala is a folk sport, held traditionally under the auspices local land lords and households, in coastal Karnataka.
AFSPA in Nagaland extended
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has been extended for 6 more months in Nagaland beginning June 30. According to home ministry, Nagaland is in such a disturbed & dangerous condition that use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary. AFSPA has been in force in Nagaland for several decades and has not been withdrawn even after a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015.
Additional excise duty removed
Finance ministry has removed additional excise duty on tobacco, pan masala and cigarettes with effect from July 1. Revenue department also repealed its earlier central excise notification, which deals with excise duty rate on unmanufactured tobacco and chewing tobacco. Under the GST, Cess on pan masala has been decided at 60%, while in tobacco it will vary from 71-204%.
Talks to end Syrian conflict begins
A fifth round of talks on ending the six year Syrian conflict began in Kazakhstan. A three-way meeting gathering the co-sponsors of the talks, Russia, Iran and Turkey is underway in Kazakhstan, aimed at cementing four conflict free areas agreed in May. While Syria has spoken in support of zones deal, the rebels have been far more pessimistic and slammed any Iranian involvement in the plan.
MP plants record 6.63 crore saplings
Madhya Pradesh govt has claimed that record 6.63 crore saplings were planted on the banks of river Narmada as part of its river conservation efforts. The drive started at 7 am continued till 7 pm along the banks of the river covering 24 districts. Drive might find a place in Guinness World Records as the current record of planting max saplings in least time is 5 cr in 24 hours by UP.
ADB grants $220 mn for road connectivity
Asian Development Bank has signed a $220 million loan agreement with India for improving road connectivity, transport efficiency & safety on state highways of Rajasthan. It is the 1st tranche of the $500 million Rajasthan State Highways Investment Programme, approved by ADB Board. It will enhance the capacity of state PWD in areas of road asset management, road safety and project management.
New CEO of Syndicate Bank
            Melwyn Rego, former chairman of the Bank of India, has been appointed as managing director and chief executive officer of the Syndicate Bank. Rego assumed the charge on 1 July. He had earlier served as deputy managing director of IDBI Bank, CEO of IDBI Homefinance and as its Head- International Banking Division spearheading the overseas initiatives of IDBI.
First asteroid deflection mission
NASA is developing the first-ever mission that will deflect a near-Earth asteroid. It will help test the systems that will allow mankind to protect the planet from potential cosmic body impacts. Double Asteroid Redirection Test will be used to defend against a potential future asteroid impact. Target for DART is an asteroid that will have a distant approach to Earth in Oct. 2022 and in 2024
Pune NGO wins UN prize
Pune based NGO, Swayam Shikshan Prayog has been awarded UNDP’s Equator Prize for devising an ecologically sustainable agriculture model to combat the adverse impacts of drought. Model advocates the use of bio-fertilizers & pesticides, preservation and exchange of local seeds, and a change in farming patterns. It is the only Indian organisation to win the award from more than 800 nominations.
WHO declares an end to Ebola outbreak
World Health Organization has declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Announcement comes 42 days after the last confirmed Ebola patient tested negative for the disease for the 2nd time. This is DRC’s 8th outbreak of EVD since discovery of the virus in the country in 1976. The last one started in 2014 and killed nearly 50 people
BYJU’s acquires TutorVista and Edurite
Online education startup BYJU’s has acquired TutorVista & Edurite from Pearson for an undisclosed amount. TutorVista is one of the largest online tutoring brands catering to school & college students in US while Edurite provides audiovisual content for CBSE classes VII-XII. BYJU’s is backed by investors, including IFC (World Bank Group member), Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Sequoia Capital.

5th July 2017
5% for physically challenged items
The Ministry of Revenue has announced a 5% concessional GST rate on the following assistive devices and rehabilitation aids for physically-challenged person. The concessional 5% GST rate on these devices/equipments would enable their domestic manufacturers to avail of input tax credit of GST paid on their inputs and raw materials. A total of 22 items have the concession.
Xiaomi signs agreement with Nokia
Nokia has announced that it has entered into a wide-ranging patent licensing and purchase deal with Xiaomi. The deal will see both companies cross-licensing each other’s cellular standard essential patents, with Xiaomi also picking up an unspecified number of patents from Nokia. Xiaomi will also become a customer of Nokia’s network equipment
New species of dinosaur discovered
Scientists have discovered an ancient, giant, crocodile-like creature in Madagascar that had T-Rex-sized teeth it used for crunching bones. The discovery helps to fill in the evolutionary gaps of a 74 million year long crocodilian “ghost lineage.” It has been named Razanandrongobe sakalavae. The findings, published in the journal PeerJ, place the fossils in the suborder Notosuchia.
UDAY covers 97% of discom debt
The Union Ministry of Power has announced that about 97% of the total outstanding debt of all state power distribution companies has been covered under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana. As on September 2015, the total debt of all state-owned discoms was Rs 3.95 lakh crore. The 26 states and 1 UT which have joined the UDAY scheme accounted for total outstanding debt of Rs. 3.82 lakh crore.
MFIN re-elects President
Microfinance Institutions Network has re-elected Rakesh Dubey as its president for the second term. The industry association and self-regulator for the NBFC-MFIs has also elected Devesh Sachdev, chief executive of Fusion Microfinance as vice president. Prior to joining the SVCL, Dubey was involved in the formation of Sonata Finance and Cashpor Micro Credit.
Madhukar Toradmal passes away
Veteran Marathi actor-writer Madhukar Toradmal has passed away. Toradmal was a writer, director and actor. He had acted in Marathi as well as Hindi films including “Simhasan,” “AapliManasa”, “Atmavishwas” and “Raakh”. The Marathi play “Tarun Turk Mhatare Urk”, which he wrote and acted in, ran for as many as 5,000 shows.
$100 million venture fund for startups
Infosys co-founder, Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani along with venture capitalist Sanjeev Aggarwal has launched a $100 million venture fund called Fundamentum to back mid-stage startups. The corpus may be extended to $200 million if the fund sees more opportunities. The fund, which has so far closed $50 million, will see one-third of the corpus coming from Nilekani and Aggarwal.
RBI ups FPI investment limit in g-secs
Reserve Bank has raised the FPI investment limit in government securities by 4.7% to Rs 2.42 lakh crore for July-September quarter. Likewise, the foreign portfolio investors will be allowed to raise their investment in state development loans by Rs61 billion to Rs331 billion for September quarter. Hence, the overall limit of FPI investment in government securities goes up to Rs 2580 billion
India’s tallest ATC tower
The new 101.9-metre air traffic control tower at the Delhi airport — touted to be the country’s tallest — is likely to start operations by December. The tower, among the tallest structures in Delhi, will give a 360-degree view of the airport to the controllers who will be able to see all the three runways, aprons and taxiways. The tower, built at a cost of Rs 350 crore.
Ivory Coast International tournament
Ritika Thaker defeated Simran Singhi to win the singles title in the Ivory Coast International badminton tournament at Abidjan. Later, Ritika and Simran paired together to beat the Nigerian duo of Zainab Momohand Peace Orji in the women’s doubles final. Ritika became only the second player from Nagpur after Arundhati Pantawane to clinch the women’s singles crown.
Most detailed brain scan
An advanced MRI machine has produced the world’s most detailed scan of the human brain that could one day be used to better understand schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy. The scan was carried out at Cardiff University’s Brain Research Imaging Centre. The images were generated using an advanced MRI machine – one of only three in the world.
Cisco India President quits
Cisco India and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation president Dinesh Malkani has resigned at the networking solutions giant to take on a leadership role at a start-up. Malkani will continue in his role until 31st July and remain associated with Cisco till the end of September. He had joined Cisco in 2010 to lead the collaboration technologies team in Asia Pacific, Japan & China.
Signature Global’s new Brand Ambassador
Realty firm Signature Global, which is into development of affordable homes, has roped in Bollywood actress Vidya Balan as brand ambassador. She has been signed as Signature Global’s brand ambassador for two years. Signature Global has launched 9 affordable housing projects, comprising about 9300 units in a price range of Rs 15-25 lakh, in Gurgaon in the last three years of operations.
ICICI terminates JV with Fairfax
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company has terminated its joint venture agreement with Fairfax Financial Holdings. This move is pursuant to a termination agreement signed on July 3, the bank said in a stock exchange notice. In May 2017, Fairfax Financial Holdings offloaded 12.18% in ICICI General to a clutch of investors for Rs 2,473 crore.
New NDRF Chief appointed
Himachal Pradesh director general of police Sanjay Kumar has been appointed as the new chief of the National Disaster Response Force. The post of NDRF director general (DG) fell vacant after incumbent R K Pachnanda was appointed as the chief of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Kumar, who is the director general of police in Himachal Pradesh, is set to retire in December next year.
Karnataka launches ‘Elevate 100’ scheme
The Karnataka government has launched the ‘Elevate 100’ scheme to identify and nurture innovative start-ups. The Elevate scheme is the brainchild of the start-up cell, Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS), to help start-ups across the state. The aim is to identify 100 most innovative start-ups in the state to elevate them to the next level of success.
Global Skill Park in Bhopal
The foundation stone of the country’s biggest Global Skill Park was laid in Bhopal jointly by Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The park will be built in Narela Shankari. It has been built with the support of Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education and Education Services
A new Israeli flower named after Modi
Commemorating Modi’s visit to Israel, Danziger Flower Farm named the flower Chrysanthemum as Modi. Modi visited the farm along with his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu where they were briefed about the latest technologies being used for floriculture. The farm is one of Israel’s leading floriculture companies with 80,000 m2 of state-of-the-art greenhouses specialising in reproduction of plants.
Microsoft India inks pact with NISA
Microsoft India has signed an agreement with National Independent Schools Alliance to offer Microsoft Aspire School Program (MASP) Pro Plus to over 55,000 member schools. MASP aims to equip schools with technology and innovative learning solutions, modernise campuses, and prepare future- ready students, among others. With this partnership, schools across 23 states can now avail MASP Pro Plus
TERI ranked second

The Energy Resources Institute has been ranked as the second best climate think tank in the world. The rankings were released by the the International Center for Climate Governance, which focuses on the design of climate policy and related governance issues. TERI conducts research for sustainable development of India and is headquartered in New Delhi.

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