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Evening News Digest 12 June 2018

Union Home Minister institutes five Police Medals


  • The Union Home Minister has instituted five Police Medals to promote professionalism and excellence in service and give recognition to those security personnel doing good work in stressful environment and in difficult areas.
  • Details of these five non-cash awards which will supplement and strengthen the existing award schemes in the State Police Forces and Central Police Organizations and Armed Forces, are as follows:
  • Union Home Minister's Special Operation Medal: A scroll signed by the Union Home Minister along with the medal to be awarded to police or security personnel of the Central/State forces for participation in the successful conduct of operations of a significant nature or scale, having direct bearing or impact on the security of the State/UT, region or country, or for participation in major rescue operations.
  • Police Antarik Suraksha Seva Padak: A medal to be awarded to each police or security personnel of the Central or State forces for every two years of duty in Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Left-Wing Extremism affected districts of the country, to recognize the importance of Internal Security duties in such areas. Currently, the medal is awarded only once irrespective of the number of tenures served in these areas.
  • Asadharan Aasuchana Kushalata Padak: A scroll signed by the Union Home Minister along with medal to be awarded to members of Central or State intelligence organizations, branches or units engaged in intelligence gathering for combating terrorism, militancy, insurgency and for acts of exceptional courage and skill in intelligence gathering.
  • Utkrisht and Ati Utkrisht Seva Medals: The medal will be awarded to police, security personnel and support staff such as Home Guards working in State Police Forces, Central Armed Police Forces, Central Police Organisations, Assam Rifles, National Security Guards, National Disaster Response Force, Home Guards and intelligence organizations. The awards will recognize the unblemished service, with professional excellence, in the past 15 years (Utkrisht Medal) and 25 years (Ati Utkrisht Medal). The number of Utkrisht and Ati Utkrisht Seva Medals in any year shall, in no case exceed 1% and 0.5% respectively of the sanctioned strength of the police force or security agency.
  • Union Home Minister's Medal for Excellence in Investigation: This medal will be awarded to officers in Central investigation agencies, State/UT police force investigating agencies in recognition of their outstanding service in investigation. A scroll signed by the Union Home Minister will be awarded to each awardee along with the medal.
  • About 30 lakh police and security personnel are deployed by the State Governments, UT Administrations and the Central Government throughout the country, in wide ranging duties, which include maintaining peace and public order, investigating crime, regulating traffic, securing vital installations and serving in disturbed areas and at remote locations at the border.


Madhya Pradesh Leg of Startup India Yatra begins on July 16


  • The Startup India Yatra van will travel to 10 cities of Madhya Pradesh, starting from the capital Bhopal, to spread awareness about Startup India and Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy.
  • The vehicle, with experts on board, will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurial talents to pitch an idea and get incubated, scaling it from idea to enterprise.
  • The van is expected to travel to nearly 25 colleges, and one-day boot camps will be conducted in all the destinations.
  • The Yatra will begin on July 16th, 2018, covering 10 districts and 15 institutions over a span of 30 days. Startup India Yatraaims to scout grass root level entrepreneurs in the smaller towns of India, providing a platform for budding entrepreneurs to realize their Startup dream.
  • Startup India Yatra’s technology partner, Shrofile, a video-based personality evaluation platform headquartered in Gurugram, will record ideas of entrepreneurs from Madhya Pradesh via the Startup India mobile van. Entrepreneurs will record their ideas on the Startup India App screens, which will be shared with the Startup India team for evaluation and selection.Prior to Madhya Pradesh, the Yatra had travelled to the  States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
  • In Gujarat, the initiative covered the five cities of Anand, Vasad, Mehsana, Jetalpur, and Ahmedabad in the months of July and August 2017.
  • Background : The States Startup Ranking Framework was launched by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in February 2018, with the aim to foster competitiveness and to propel the states and union territories to work proactively towards promotion of their startup eco-systems. This was also targeted at facilitating states and UTs to identify, learn and replicate good practices from each other and for bringing to the fore, their own progress.

India becomes sixth-biggest economy in World Bank Ranking

  • India has become the world's sixth-biggest economy, pushing France into seventh place, according to updated World Bank figures for 2017.
  • India's gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of last year, against $2.582 trillion for France.
  • India's economy rebounded strongly from July 2017, after several quarters of slowdown blamed on economic policies pursued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
  • India, with around 1.34 billion inhabitants, is poised to become the world's most populous nation, whereas the French population stands at 67 million.
  • This means that India's per capita GDP continues to amount to just a fraction of that of France which is still roughly 20 times higher, according to World Bank figures.
  • Manufacturing and consumer spending were the main drivers of the Indian economy last year.
  • According to the International Monetary Fund, India is projected to generate growth of 7.4 percent this year and 7.8 percent in 2019, boosted by household spending and a tax reform.
  • This compares to the world's expected average growth of 3.9 percent.
  • The US is the world's top economy, followed by China, Japan, and Germany.

Sri Lankan govt approves capital punishment for drug offences

  • Sri Lanka had stopped hangings since 1976 and death row prisoners spend life terms in jail
  • The Sri Lankan Cabinet has unanimously approved a move to bring back capital punishment for drug-related crimes.
  • President Maithripala Sirisena had recently stated that he was under pressure to re-introduce capital punishment as a deterrent to serious crimes.
  • Although capital punishment is in the statute, Sri Lanka had stopped hangings since 1976. Death row prisoners spend life terms in jail.
  • Executions have not been carried out as successive Presidents in office since 1978 have refused to issue death warrants. 

Gujarat approves Rs 39-cr ‘Seema Darshan’ project

  • Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has given in-principle approval for the 39-crore rupees ‘Seema Darshan’ project for developing more infrastructure facilities from T-Junction to Zero Point at Nadabet near Suigam in Banaskantha district to instil patriotism through a unique Gujarat initiative for border tourism.
  • The project being developed on Wagah Border pattern, entails an exhibition hall, a parade ground with amphitheatre for 5,000 people.
  • The viewers can watch the border where the Gujarat’s seacoast meets the landmass. The project demonstrates  BSF jawans’ tryst with protecting the border as round-the-clock sentinels.
  • The project will encourage local economic activity in the Rann region, alongside visit to adjoining flamingo and wild ass sanctuaries.

Govt approves Idea Cellular and Vodafone India merger

  • The Idea Cellular and Vodafone India merger but the companies need to complete some formalities for the final closure of the deal.
  • The combined operations of Idea and Vodafone will create the country's largest telecom operator worth over over 1.5 lakh crore rupees, with a 35 per cent market share and a subscriber base of around 430 million.
  • Debt-ridden firms Idea and Vodafone India are in process of merging their businesses in India as it is expected to bring down cost of their operations and give them relief from cut-throat competition in the market where margins have hit rock bottom with free voice calls.
  • With the new entity coming in force, Bharti Airtel will lose the tag of India's biggest telecom service provider to the new entity. 
  • The combined debt of both the companies is estimated to be around Rs 1.15 lakh crore.
  • Background:
  • Competition Commission of India is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.

Men's hockey team to get monthly allowance under TOP Scheme

  • The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Sports Ministry today approved a monthly allowance of  50 thousand rupees for each of the 18 members of the men's hockey team under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
  • The monthly allowance under TOPS has been started by the ministry last year but the hockey team is getting the pocket allowance for the first time.
  • The decision to include hockey was taken after India's performance improved under new coach Harendra Singh as they finished runners up in the Champions Trophy in the Netherlands.
  • The women's team could be included in the TOPS after reviewing its performance in the upcoming World Cup and the following Asian Games.
  • Among the other notable decisions taken, double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar has been sanctioned  6.62 lakh rupees for hiring two sparring partners and a physiotherapist during his ongoing training stint in Georgia.
  • Another 3.22 lakh rupees has been sanctioned for Bajrang Punia and Sumit for the training and tournament participation in Turkey.
  • Boxer Saraju bala Devi got an extension under TOPS scheme after qualifying for the Asian Games.
  • Among other sports, MOC also sanctioned money for purchase of  equipment and training for gymnasts, Tennis player Ram Kumar Ramanathan, Archery and Judo.
  • Background:
  • The Indian Olympic Association is the body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Olympic Games, Asian Games and other international athletic meets and for managing the Indian teams at these events. It also acts as the Indian Commonwealth Games Association, responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Commonwealth Games.

Maharastra government frames policy for benefit of senior citizens

  • Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has directed the State Government to activate the State Executive Council for Senior Citizens to effectively implement its policy towards elderly.
  • The High Court asked the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to make attempts to finalize the National Policy for Senior Citizens within six months.
  • The High Court observed while hoping that it will result in redress of certain extent of the problems faced by senior citizens in Maharashtra.
  • Mere absence of national policy is no excuse to shirk the responsibility towards elderly, the High Court made it clear.
  • The senior citizens of Sahkar Nagar wrote a letter to Chief Justice of Bombay High Court on May 13 highlighting total apathy of successive regimes towards plight of elderly and their long pending demands.
  • Backgroud:
  • The National Policy on older Persons was announced by the Central Government of India in the year, 1999 to reaffirm the commitment to ensure the well-being of the older persons. It was a step to promote the health, safety, social security and well-being of elderly in India.

Telecom Comm approves net neutrality, new telecom policy

  • Some mission critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars will however be kept out of the purview of net neutrality framework.
  • In a move that will ensure open and free Internet in India, the government has approved the principle of net neutrality.
  • This means that telecom and Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, site, platform, or application.
  • They cannot engage in practices such as blocking, slowing down or granting preferential speeds to any content.
  • The Telecom Commission (TC) — which is the highest decision-making body in the Department of Telecom, approved the recommendation made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the subject.
  • This principle, it had added, will apply to any discriminatory treatment based on the sender or receiver, the network protocols, or the user equipment, but not to specialised services or other exclusions.
  • Background:
  • Net Neutrality is a principle affirming that all ISP (Internet Service Providers) must treat all data on the internet equally.Under Net Neutrality regulations ,an ISP is not allowed to intentionally block, nor slow down specific content or websites.

BSNL starts first internet telephony service in India

  • State-run telecom firm BSNL unveiled first internet telephony service in the country that will allow users to dial any telephone number in India through its mobile app.
  • Now BSNL customers will be able to make calls using the company's mobile app "Wings" to any phone number in the country.
  • Before this, phone calls on mobile apps was possible within users of a particular app and not on telephone numbers.
  • Using this service, BSNL customers will be able to make calls on any network in the country even by using BSNL wi-fi or any other service provider.
  • Telecom Commission, highest-decision making body of the Department of Telecom, had allowed companies who hold valid telecom licence, to provide app-based calling service even by using wi-fi connection.
  • Background:
  • Internet telephony is a type of communications technology that allows voice calls and other telephony services like fax, SMS and other voice-messaging applications to be transmitted using the Internet as a connection medium.

Jadhav case: Pak to file counter-memorial in ICJ on July 17

  • Pakistan Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk was briefed regarding the case.
  • Pakistan will file its second counter-memorial on July 17 in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) conviction of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.
  • The ICJ on January 23 gave a timeline to both Pakistan and India for filing another round of memorials in the case.
  • Pakistan’s memorial will be in response to pleadings filed by India in the Hague-based ICJ on April 17.
  • Counter-Memorial an answer admitting, denying, or commenting on charges in a memorial in international law.

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