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Evening News Digest: 2nd June 2018 (Including PDF)

Ministry of Culture introduces new scheme ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’

  • The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has introduced a new scheme namely ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ with a total outlay of Rs. 325.00 Crores for Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • The scheme envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST)so as to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
  • The Charitable Religious Institutions such as Temples, Gurudwara, Mosque, Church, Dharmik Ashram, Dargah, Matth, Monasteries etc. which have been in existence for at least five years before applying for financial assistance/grant and who serve free food to at least 5000 people in a month.
  • Ministry of Culture will register the eligible charitable religious institutions for a time period ending with finance commission period and subsequently the registration may be renewed by the Ministry, subject to the performance evaluation of the institutions.
  • All the eligible institutions should be registered with Darpan portal. 

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IMD Commissions High Resolution Ensemble Prediction Systems

  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has commissioned two very high resolution (12 km grid scale) state-of-the-art global Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) for generating operational 10-days probabilistic forecasts of weather.
  • The EPS involves the generation of multiple forecasts using slightly varying initial conditions.
  • The EPS will enhance the weather information being provided by the current models by quantifying the uncertainties in the weather forecasts and generate probabilistic forecasts.
  • This critical service level augmentation became possible due to the consistent efforts made by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Noida and India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • The frameworks of the new EPSs are among the best weather prediction systems in the world at present. Very few forecasting centres in the world use this high resolution for short-medium range probabilistic weather forecasts.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD), also referred to as the Met Department, is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. IMD is headquartered in Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica. Regional office are at Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune.

New Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018 launched

  • The Income Tax Department has launched a new reward scheme titled “Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018”.
  • This reward scheme is aimed at encouraging people to give information about benami transactions and properties as well as income earned on such properties by such hidden investors and beneficial owners.
  • Under the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, a person can get reward up to Rs. One crore for giving specific information about benami transactions and properties which are actionable under Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.
  • Foreigners will also be eligible for such reward. Identity of the persons giving information will not be disclosed   and strict confidentiality shall be maintained.
  • The Government had earlier amended Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 to make the law stronger. 
  • It was amended after it came to notice that in many cases that black money was invested in properties in the names of others, even though benefits were enjoyed by the investor concealing his beneficial ownership in his tax returns.

ICC includes Nepal, Netherlands, Scotland & UAE in ODI rankings list

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) included Nepal, Netherlands, Scotland and the UAE in their ODI ranking list apart from the 12 existing countries.
  • The ICC release states that results of all the bilateral ODIs involving these new teams will henceforth be taken into account while calculating the rating points.
  • The Netherlands secured ODI status and a place in the 13-team ODI league by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship in 2017, while Scotland, Nepal and the UAE earned ODI status by finishing as the three leading associates (along with the Dutch) in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
  • Scotland have been ranked in 13th on 28 points - 10 points behind 12th ranked Ireland - while the UAE are another 10 points behind on 18 in 14th position. The Netherlands have 13 rating points.
  • Nepal and the Netherlands will need to play four matches more in order to get into the table.

Online Analytical Tool  to monitor foreign contributions under FCRA launched

  • Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched an Online Analytical Tool to facilitate closer monitoring of the flow and utilisation of foreign contributions received by various organisations registered or permitted under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
  • This web-based tool enables decision-makers in various Departments of Government to scrutinise source of foreign funds and their actual use in India. 
  • It gives them capacity to take data-driven and evidence-based decisions regarding the compliance of the provisions of the FCRA, 2010.  It has analytical features to conduct big data mining and data exploration. 
  • Its dashboard will be integrated with the bank accounts of the FCRA-registered entities through the Public Financial Management System for updating of transactional data on a real-time basis.
  • There are approximately 25,000 active organisations registered under The FCRA, 2010.  Foreign Contributions worth Rs.18,065 crores were received by such organisations from foreign donors for various social, cultural, economic, educational and religious activities during financial year 2016-17.

Deccan Queen completes 88 years of service

  • Deccan Queen first ran between Pune and Kalyan on June 1, 1930. The train, that reduced the then travel time between the two cities by almost an hour, has been awarded the status of a premium service ever since then.
  • The introduction of ‘’Deccan Queen’’ between the two premier cities of Maharashtra was a major landmark in the history of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, the forerunner of the Indian Railways.
  • This was the first deluxe train introduced on the railway to serve two important cities of the region and was aptly named after Pune, which is also known as ‘’Queen of Deccan’’ (‘’Dakkhan ki Rani’’).
  • The under frames of the coaches of the original rakes were built in England while the coach bodies were built in the Matunga Workshop of the GIP Railway.
  • The Deccan Queen, initially, had only first class and second class accommodation. First class was abolished on January 1, 1949 and second class was redesigned as first class, which continued up to June 1955 when third class was introduced on this train for the first time.
  • This was later re-designated as second class from April 1974 onwards. The coaches of the original rakes were replaced in 1966 by anti-telescopic steel bodied integral coaches built by Integral Coach Factory, Perambur.

India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab in Chandigarh

  • The Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi laid foundation of Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory in the campus of Central Forensic Science Lab.
  • Forensic analysis plays critical role in criminal investigation and the Advanced Lab will contribute to address the gap in forensic DNA analysis of pending sexual assault cases in the country.
  • The Minister mentioned that the current capacity of CFSL, Chandigarh is less than 160 cases per year and the Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory is estimated to increase the capacity to 2000 cases per year.
  • 5 more advanced forensic labs would come up in Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati, Pune and Bhopal in the next 3 months bringing the total minimum annual capacity of the labs to 50000 cases.
  • The Labs in Chennai and Mumbai would be set up with WCD funds while remaining 3 labs would be set up with funds by Home Ministry.

National Sports University Ordinance 2018

  • National Sports University Ordinance, 2018 has come into force as the President of India has given his assent to the Union Cabinet’s decision to promulgate the said Ordinance.
  • The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had promulgated the National Sports University Ordinance, 2018, by which the National Sports University will be established with headquarters at Manipur.
  • National Sports University Ordinance, 2018 (“the Ordinance”) will be on the lines of the National Sports University Bill, 2017, introduced in Lok Sabha on August 10, 2017.
  • This will be a specialized University, first of its kind, to promote sports education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching besides functioning as the national training centre for select sports disciplines by adopting the best international practices.
  • The proposal was formally announced by the Finance Minister in his Budget speech of 2014-15 on July 10, 2014. For setting up the University, 325.90 acres of land has been made available by the Government of Manipur in Koutruk, West Imphal district of Manipur.

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Giuseppe Conte sworn in as Italian Prime Minister

  • Giuseppe Conte was sworn in as Italy's prime minister, heading western Europe's first anti-establishment government bent on overhauling European Union rules on budgets and immigration.
  • Conte, a little-known 53-year-old law professor, is backed by the 5-Star Movement which grew out of a grassroots protest network, and the right-wing League who have issued a budget-busting agenda of sweeping tax cuts and higher welfare spending.
  • Widespread voter disenchantment has seen anti-establishment parties upset mainstream politics across the continent, including Germany and France, but it is the first time they will run the government of a major western European country.
  • The disaffection has grown in recent years as hundreds of thousands of migrants have landed on Italy's shores from north Africa, fuelling support for the League which accuses the EU of abandoning Italy to deal with the influx on its own.

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