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Evening News Digest, 18 June 2018(Including P.D.F.)

Sustainable Gastronomy Day: June 18

  • Sustainable Gastronomy Day emphasizes the need to focus the world’s attention on the role that sustainable gastronomy can play.
  • Gastronomy means the practice of choosing, cooking and eating good food.
  • It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development.
  • The UN General Assembly adopted on 21 December 2016 and designated 18 June as an international observance, Sustainable Gastronomy Day.
  • The decision acknowledges gastronomy as a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world. It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development.
  • It helps in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by promoting: (i)Agricultural development; (ii) Food security; (iii) Nutrition; (iv) Sustainable food production; and (v) Conservation of biodiversity.

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NITI Aayog’s 4th Governing Council meeting concludes

  • The 4th Meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was held in New Delhi on June 17, 2018.
  • India's development journey with the Centre and states as equal partners was at the core of the 4th governing council.
  • Senior Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of 23 states and a Lieutenant Governor took part in the deliberations at the highest policy making body of NITI Aayog.
  • PM reiterated the Centre's commitment to provide universal coverage of seven key schemes to 45,000 additional villages in 115 Aspirational Districts, by August 15, 2018.
  • Besides, on the lines of Aspirational Districts, PM Modi also put forth the idea of Aspirational Blocs in order to take development to the undeveloped and remote corners of the country.

Federer claims 98th ATP Tennis title with victory in Stuttgart

  • Roger Federer claimed his 98th ATP title and re-established his unrivalled superiority on grass with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Milos Raonic in the Stuttgart Cup final.
  • Top-seeded Swiss beat his Canadian opponent for the 11th time in 14 meetings while winning a first Stuttgart title.
  • The 36-year-old will regain the world number one ranking and is playing next week as top seed in Halle.
  • The Stuttgart Open (currently sponsored by Mercedes Benz and called the Mercedes Cup) is an ATP World Tour 250 series tennis tournament on the ATP Tour.

U.S. pips India as top greenfield FDI destination: FDI Report 2018

  • The U.S. has surpassed India to become the top destination for greenfield FDI investment in 2017.
  • The number of greenfield FDI projects in India during the year fell sharply by 21% to 637, said the FDI Report 2018 compiled by FDI Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times.
  • India had maintained the numero uno slot in greenfield FDI investment in 2015 and 2016. However, in 2017, the U.S. reclaimed the spot from India, recording $87.4 billion of announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  • In the Asia and Pacific region, China was on top in terms of FDI in total number of new projects and capital investment, followed by India.
  • China received foreign capital investment of $50.8 billion in 2017 in greenfield projects, compared to India’s USD 25.1 billion.
  • As per the report, China received investments in 681 projects as against 637 in case of India.

SAARC Fund to launch 80 Social Enterprise Programme

  • Thimpu-based SAARC Development Fund will soon be launching a social enterprise development programme (SEDP) to fund 80 entities annually across the 8-member states including India, said SDF CEO Sunil Motiwal.
  • The programme will be implemented in all the SAARC member states with the objective of identifying and building social enterprises by using a mix of grants and concessional returnable capital.
  • SDF was established by the Heads of the eight SAARC member states in April 2010 and its Governing Council comprises finance ministers of these eight countries.
  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are SAARC members.

Assam: First State to launch cancer care foundation for cheaper treatment

  • Assam on June 18, 2018 launched a cancer care foundation, the first for any State government in India, for making treatment of the disease more affordable and ensuring care for patients till survival.
  • The non-profit Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) is a pioneering model for making cancer care more affordable and address all aspects from awareness to end-of-life care.
  • ACCF is in partnership with Tata Trusts, which has committed to providing Rs 830 crore for the programme while the State government will provide ₹1,080 crore.
  • The cancer care project has been designed to address three aspects of cancer care – service, education and research – with the objective of shifting care closer to patients’ homes.
  • Accordingly, five district hospitals would be providing diagnostics and day care follow-up. These hospitals are in Darrang, Dima Hasao, Goalpara, Golaghat and Sivasagar districts.
  • The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) had in 2016 reported 31,825 new cancer cases in Assam. Further, a recent study found that more than 70% of the cost incurred by patients getting treated is due to peripheral expenses such as stay, travel and food.

States' fiscal deficit steeply falls by 25% in FY18: ICRA

  • Thirteen states have reported an average 25 percent decline in their fiscal deficit primarily due to a contraction in capital outlay, even though their revenue has gone up by 7.5 per cent in the fiscal year to March 2018.
  • However, in FY17, their revenue had gone up by 11.5 percent, says a report by domestic credit rating agency ICRA, based on the provisional fiscal data given by the CAG of 13 states.
  • According to the agency, this slowdown in revenue growth was led by a contraction in the non-tax revenue, comprising grants from the Centre and states’ own non-tax revenues, and a mild slowdown in the pace of growth of tax revenue, comprising Central tax devolution and states’ own-tax revenues.
  • But the agency estimates that the pace of growth of the aggregate tax revenue of 13 states improved to 10.1 per cent in FY18 from 7.7 per cent in FY17.
  • ICRA Limited (ICRA) is an Indian independent and professional investment information and credit rating agency. It was established in 1991 and was originally named Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (IICRA India). It was renamed ICRA Ltd in April 2007.

Justice BN Srikrishna-led team to probe charges against ICICI Bank CEO

  • Retired Supreme Court Judge Justice BN Srikrishna will head the investigation initiated by the board of ICICI Bank on allegations of corporate misconduct and quid pro quo against its Managing Director and CEO, Chanda Kochhar.
  • He is also likely to be assisted by an external agency, as well as the bank’s audit committee, led by Uday Chitle. The investigation could take about three to five months to be completed.

Dhanush artillery gun clears final trials; To be inducted in Army

  • The indigenously upgraded artillery gun Dhanush has successfully completed final user trials and is ready for induction into the Army.
  • Dhanush is an upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors gun procured by India in the mid-1980s.
  • This was the third and final phase of user exploitation firings in which six Dhanush guns were fired in battery formation from May 31 to June 7, 2018 at the Pokhran field firing range.
  • The first phase of trials was conducted between July and September 2016 at the Pokhran and Babina ranges and the second phase was conducted between October and December 2016 at the Siachen base camp with three guns.
  • The guns travelled extensively in towed/ self-propelled mode in desert and high-altitude terrains with each gun clocking over 1,000 km demonstrating their mobility.

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ISRO clears GSAT-11 for launch

  • The ISRO has cleared the launch of GSAT-11, the satellite which was recalled from Kourou in French Guinea for thorough checks.
  • It was called back after it lost contact with its another satellite GSAT-6A that was launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in March 2018.
  • The 5,700-kg GSAT-11 satellite was slated for launch on May 26 from Kourou, a site in South America which India uses to launch its heavy-weight satellite.

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