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Evening News Digest 25 July 2018

India and Uganda sign four MoUs in various fields


  • India and Uganda signed four MoUs in the areas of defence cooperation, visa exemption for official and diplomatic passport holders, cultural exchange programme and material testing laboratory.
  • The agreements were inked following delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala.
  • The two leaders comprehensively reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations. India also announced two Lines of Credit worth nearly 200 million US dollars to Uganda in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and dairy sectors.
  • India will also give vehicles, ambulances and cancer therapy machine to Uganda.
  • During his Rwanda visit, the Prime Minister today attended the India-Rwanda Business forum in Kigali.

What India Will get :

  • Energy Cooperation
  • UN reforms cooperation
  • Support for UNSC seat for India
  • Investment offered to Africa - alternate to China
  • Unity against the terrorism
  • To form a regional co operation in the West Indian Ocean which was ignored till this time -ASWAN ( Association of South West Asian Nation)
  • Free Trade Zone can be started with this.
  • Increase in Chinese naval basement along India ( String of Pearls) can be contained


Centre asks states to appoint nodal officer to curb mob lynching


  • Centre has asked states to appoint a nodal officer in each district to prevent the incidents of mob violence and lynching.
  • The nodal officer should be of superintendent of police-level officer
  • Other Major Reforms :
  • It has also asked to set up a special task force to procure intelligence reports about the people who are likely to commit such crimes or who are involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news.
  • Home Ministry said, the process of identification should be done within a period of three weeks.
  • Home Ministry asked state governments to implement the directions of the Supreme Court in letter and spirit.
  • The Ministry said, police should register FIR against persons who disseminate irresponsible and explosive messages and videos having content which is likely to incite mob violence and lynching of any kind.

Acid attack victims included under disability in Madhya Pradesh


  • Victims of Acid Attack, autism, mental Illness will get quota in central government job in Madhya Pradesh.
  • In case of direct instrument 4 percent job will be saved for the benchmark disability in Group A, B, C.
  • Benchmark disability means a person with not less than 40 % of the Disability.
  • Under new law all government offices will be asked to appoint ‘Grievance Redressal officer’ to look into the complaint.

Assam government to set up separate directorate for Divyangs


  • The Assam government has decided to set up a separate directorate for the Divyangs.
  • The Social Welfare department to give 1 thousand rupees per month to all Divyangs as stipend.
  • The minister said that the new Anganwadi centres to be constructed for the benefit of the women and children.

UP Govt files its vision document for Taj Mahal before Supreme Court

  • Uttar Pradesh government filed before Supreme Court the first draft report of its vision document on protection and preservation of Taj Mahal in Agra.
  • State Government said the entire precinct will be declared no-plastic zone and all polluting industries in the region will be closed.
  • Why Vision Document is presented ?
  • The vision document was submitted after Apex court lashed out the state government on the 11th of this month for its apathy towards the 17th-century Mughal era monument.
  • State government said the use of bottled water will be also prohibited in the Taj precinct and more tourism hubs will be created. It also calls for comprehensive traffic management plan to promote pedestrian movement in Taj heritage precinct.
  • The apex court has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
  • The ivory white marble mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Dhanvir, Priya set meet records in National Youth Athletics Championships


  • Punjab shot putter Dhanvir Singh and Kerala’s 400m hurdler J. Vishnu Priya set new records in the 15th National youth athletics championships which concluded at Vadodara, Gujarat.
  • Dhanvir’s first throw, 19.66m, bettered Navtejdeep Singh’s seven-year-old meet record of 19.34m and he finished with a day’s best of 19.69m.
  • Vishnu Priya was also a comfortable winner in the girls hurdles, clocking 1:02.52s and broke a three-year-old meet record.


Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan wins Singapore Badminton Open

  • Taiwanese badminton star Chou Tien-chen stormed to a 21-13, 21-13 win over compatriot Hsu Jen-hao to clinch the Singapore Open men's singles title.
  • Serving deep, cross-court smashes at high speeds, the world number seven easily claimed the first game.
  • The 28-year-old went on to win easily at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, sealing victory in 43 minutes.
  • In men's doubles, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia cruised to a 21-13, 21-19 win over China's Ou Xuanyi and Ren Xiangyu.
  • In mixed doubles, Malaysian duo Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai fended off strong competition from Olympic champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, defeating the Indonesians 21-19, 21-18.


World’s fastest man-made spinning object developed

  • Scientists have developed the fastest man-made rotor in the world, which they believe will help them study quantum mechanics.
  • At more than 60 billion revolutions per minute, this machine is more than 100,000 times faster than a high-speed dental drill.
  • How it Works ?
  • The team synthesised a tiny dumbbell from silica and levitated it in high vacuum using a laser. The laser can work in a straight line or in a circle – when it is linear, the dumbbell vibrates, and when it is circular, the dumbbell spins.
  • A spinning dumbbell functions as a rotor, and a vibrating dumbbell functions like an instrument for measuring tiny forces and torques, known as a torsion balance.
  • A nano dumbbell levitated by an optical tweezer in vacuum can vibrate or spin, depending on the polarization of the incoming laser.
  • A nanodumbbell levitated by an optical tweezer in vacuum can vibrate or spin, depending on the polarization of the incoming laser.


India drops three ranks in AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index

o   India in 2018 has fallen out of the top 10 destinations for FDI in terms of its attractiveness, according to an AT Kearney report.

o   India ranks 11 in the 2018 AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index, down from 8 in 2017 and 9 in 2016.

o   Policies that have deterred investors — at least in the short term :

o   The 2017 nationwide goods and services tax, for example, has faced implementation challenges, and the 2016 demonetisation initiative disrupted business activity and weighed on economic growth.

o   The report highlighted several of the reforms — such as removing the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and liberalising FDI limits in key sectors — that have maintained India’s high rankings in terms of FDI attractiveness.


o   Notable reforms done

o   Notable reforms include the elimination of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, a government agency responsible for reviewing all potential foreign investment,

o   The liberalisation of foreign investment thresholds for the retail, aviation, and biomedical industries.



Pratyush Committee recommends Coal Index to determine value of coal blocks


  • Major changes in the coal block auction system have been suggested by the high-powered committee set up last year to review the current process.
  • The recommendations, submitted this month, rest on four tenets —
  • ensuring transparency and fairness,
  • equity,
  • early development of coal blocks and
  • simplicity of implementation of the recommendations.
  • These suggestions coincide with the opening up of the coal sector for commercial mining.
  • The proposed changes aim at introducing flexibility in the number of bidders, penalties for defaulting on milestones (and revoking bank guarantees), project execution, and relaxation to captive miners to sell some of the coal in the market.
  • The panel has recommended developing a Coal Index for determining the value of blocks and a revenue-sharing model with the States.
  • Currently, the valuation is on the basis of the notified price of Coal India Ltd.
  • The committee has suggested scrapping the current practice of cancelling an auction if the number of bidders drop below three, saying that a single-bid should be accepted if biddings failed to find eligible bidders, provided the offered price was benchmarked to the reserve price.
  • In the previous auctions, majority of the blocks could not be allocated as the number of eligible bidders was less than three.
  • The number of milestones are now eight versus 20 earlier, with the panel suggesting that only a default in achieving critical milestones should attract penalty against the earlier penalty for each default.
  • Shift from current system
  • If accepted, the changes would mark a major shift in the current system which was put in place after the cancellation of 204 coal-block allocations and introducing a system of auctioning the mineral blocks.
  • Triggering euphoria and intense competition since their introduction, the e-auctions failed to sustain interest after several blocks were taken at high prices.
  • Even companies which bought the blocks found it cheaper to import coal to meet their requirements rather than developing the mines.

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