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Important Current Affairs 26th July 2017

Important Current Affairs 26th July 2017

Current Affairs 26th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet approves revision of cost of Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Department of Rural Development for revision of cost of Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC 2011). It provides for:
●    Revising the cost of SECC 2011 to Rs. 4893.60 crore from the approved estimated expenditure of Rs.3,543.29 crore within the indicative cost of Rs.4,000 crore as approved by the Government. 
●    Approval of time and cost overrun and consequential revision in the upper limit of cost per record to the consortium of Central Public Sector Undertakings. 
●    The SECC -2011 project has been concluded on 31.3.2016. The cost has already been committed and the project has met all its milestones.

Cabinet approves revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given approval for revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) Scheme with a view to achieve its intended objectives. 
●    Two sets of changes have been made in the scheme: 
●    Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD). 
●    Flexibility has been given to Ministry of Finance to design and introduce variants of SGBs with different interest rates and risk protection / pay-offs that would offer investment alternatives to different category of investors. 
●    Ministry of Finance (the issuer) has been delegated this power to amend / add to the features of the Scheme with approval of the Finance Minister to reduce the time lag between finalizing the attributes of a particular tranche and its notification. 
●    Such flexibility will be effective in addressing the elements of competition with new products of investment, to deal with very dynamic and sometimes volatile market, macro-economic and other conditions such as gold price.

Inauguration of CBRN Workshop by the COAS

The 5th Workshop on Medical Management of CBRN Casualties for Medical Officer is being held under the aegis of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (Medical) from 25 Jul 2017 to 28 Jul 2017. 
●    Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, was the Chief Guest at the inaugural session.
●    The Chief of Army Staff, highlighted the need to work towards equipping and training doctors and paramedical staff in the Armed Forces to deal with all types of CBRN emergencies. 
●    The Chief of the Army Staff congratulated the organizers and expressed confidence that the endeavor in conducting this workshop will greatly impact the medical preparedness in tackling CBRN emergencies in future.
●    Lt Gen MK Unni, DGAFMS & Sr Col Comdt highlighted the heightened threat perception of CBRN weapons by rogue states and terrorist outfits in the currently prevailing international security environment.  
●    The use of such agents is likely to result in thousands of causalities, thereby overwhelming local health and medical resources and AFMS should be prepared to tackle this challenge.

Gadkari announces Rs 200 crore assistance to Assam for repair of rain ravaged National Highways

The Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari has announced a financial assistance of Rs. 200 crore as the first instalment for the immediate repairs of National Highways damaged due to the heavy rains in Assam. 
●    The announcement was made after the Assam Chief Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal called on Shri Gadkari for a review of the situation in Assam where heavy rains have led to National Highways being damaged. 
●    Meanwhile, an expert team of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials has been despatched for on the spot assessment of the damage. 
●    If needed, further financial assistance will be provided based on the NHAI team's report. The NHAI team is expected to submit its report within a week.
●    Another Rs 400 crore has been sanctioned for dredging work in Brahmaputra river. 
●    The work will start from September using six dredgers. 
●    Dredging will increase the depth of the river and prevent it from flooding. 
●    A total of seven bridges are to be built on Brahmaputra river during the next five years for better road connectivity with the NE region. 
●    Work on two bridges is underway. DPR for three more bridges is to be prepared by the state govt.

PM Modi gives Rs 500 cr immediate relief to flood-hit Gujarat

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi rushed to Gujarat on Tuesday evening to take stock of the situation arising after heavy rains and flooding of rivers in the districts of North Gujarat. 
●    After visiting the worst-affected district of Banaskantha, Prime Minister Modi announced immediate Central assistance of Rs 500 crore to the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).
●    The Prime Minister announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured in the floods. 
●    According to State government data, at least 61 lives have been lost in the rain-related incidents so far in the state.
●    On his arrival at the Ahmedabad Airport, the Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to review flood relief and rescue operations. 
●    The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel besides senior minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and former chief minister Anandiben Patel.

Current Affairs 26th July 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Sri Lanka clears revised deal for Hambantota port

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet on Tuesday cleared a revised deal for the Chinese-built port in Hambantota, the government said. 
●    The modified agreement, the government added, was more profitable to Sri Lanka and also addressed security concerns raised by other countries.
●    Speaking to reporters here, Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the Cabinet gave final approval to sell 70% stake in the southern port to the state-run China Merchants Port Holdings for $1.12 billion. 
●    “Some [diplomatic] missions here were worried that the port would be used as a military naval base. As per the revised agreement Sri Lanka will manage the port security,” he said.
●    While the Chinese would manage port operations, “no naval ship, including Chinese ones, can call at Hambantota without our permission”, Mr. Samarasinghe said.

Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting in Geneva adopts three Codex standards for spices 

In a major recognition of India’s efforts to benchmark global spices trade, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) has adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme, paving the way for universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries. 
●    The member-countries of CAC, the international food standards-setting body which met in Geneva for its 40th session during July 17-22, unanimously approved the adoption of Codex standards for the three spices, which would facilitate evolving a common standardization process for their global trade and availability.
●    The Codex standards were adopted in the wake of India conducting three sessions of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) at Kochi (2014), Goa (2015) and Chennai (2017). 
●    The Chennai session succeeded in achieving this consensus. Subsequently, these drafts were placed before the CAC, and it was adopted by consensus with an overwhelming support from the member-countries.

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