Daily News

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World Bank nod for ₹6,000 cr. groundwater recharge plan

The government has joined hands with the World Bank to execute a ₹6,000-crore scheme called the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), to address concerns about depleting groundwater reserves in India.

The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

The Atal Bhujal Yojana aims to improve ground water management in priority areas in the country through community participation.

The priority areas identified under the scheme fall in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Did you Know

Minister for Water Resources, RD & GR- Nitin Jairam Gadkari
World Bank President: Jim Yong Kim
Headquarters of WB: Washington, DC, USA
Formation of WB: 4 July 1944

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RBI raises rates after 4.5 years as crude price surges

The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) of RBI increased the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%.

This is the first-rate hike in four-and-a-half years; the last was in January 2014.

The RBI increased its inflation projection to 4.8%-4.9% in the first half (H1) and 4.7% in the second half of financial year.

The outlook for GDP growth for 2018-19 has been retained at 7.4% as projected in the April policy.

Did you Know

The rate at which banks borrow money from the RBI by selling their surplus government securities to RBI is known as "repo rate".
Repo rate is short form of Repurchase Rate.
Hawkish and dovish are terms that refer to the country"s monetary policy.
A hawkish stance is when a central bank wants to guard against excessive inflation.
Dovish is when an economy is not growing and the government wants to guard against deflation.

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Central package for sugar mills

With sugar mills facing a liquidity crisis, the government has decided to-

-fix the minimum price of refined sugar at ₹29/kg,

-create a buffer stock, and

-facilitate a ₹4,440 crore loan scheme to help mills produce ethanol from surplus cane.

The government intends to control sugar prices by notifying an order under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and imposing stockholding limits on mills.

Did you Know

Uttar Pradesh is India’s biggest sugar producing state.

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Maternal mortality ratio in the country drops to 130 from 167

As per the data, the Maternal Mortality Rate (number of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births) has dropped from 167 (in 2011-2013, the last SRS period) to 130 for the country.

The data of MMR has brought by the latest Sample Registration System (SRS).

The highest reduction from the last SRS is with the Empowered Action Group States (Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand and Assam) at 23%, a drop from 246 (2011-2013) to 188.

Kerala at the top with an MMR of 46 (down from 61) whereas Maharashtra retains its second position with 61 and Tamil Nadu is in the third position.

Did you Know

With a view to generate reliable and continuous data on indicators like population growth, fertility and mortality, the Office of the Registrar General, India, initiated the scheme of sample registration of births and deaths in India popularly known as Sample Registration System (SRS).

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Govt approves Rs 10,000-cr continuation programmes for PSLV, GSLV

The Centre has approved the continuation of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III programmes, together costing over Rs. 10,000 crore, in a move that will help ISRO launch light and heavy satellites.

Did you Know

Indian Space Research Organisation
Headquarters: Bengaluru
Founder: Vikram Sarabhai
Founded: 15 August 1969
Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan

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India’s rank marginally improves in peace index

India’s rank has marginally improved in “global peacefulness”.

Pakistan’s rank too has improved marginally, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI), released by Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

India’s rank moved up to 136 for 2017.

Iceland continues to remain the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.

Syria remained the least peaceful country in the world for the past five years.

Did you Know

Global Peace Index (GPI) measures the relative position of nations" and regions" peacefulness.
It ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their levels of peacefulness.

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Co-op banks can become small finance banks, says RBI

The Reserve Bank of India has decided to allow urban co-operative banks (UCB) to convert into small finance banks (SFB), a move aimed at bringing these entities into mainstream banking.

UCBs currently face regulation by both the RBI and the respective State governments.

By turning into SFBs, they will be regulated only by the RBI.

The panel has decided voluntary conversion of large Multi-state UCBs into joint stock companies and other UCBs which meet certain criteria, into SFBs.

A high-powered committee led by R Gandhi has recommended the same.

Did you Know

Small finance banks are banks with a small finance bank license can provide basic banking service of acceptance of deposits and lending.
The aim behind these to provide financial inclusion to sections of the economy not being served by other banks.

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RBI tweaks norms to boost affordable housing lending

RBI has increased the eligibility limit for a loan to classify as priority sector lending in a bid to boost affordable housing.

For metropolitan areas, loan limits have been raised from Rs. 28 lakh to Rs. 35 lakh and for other areas, it has been increased from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh, provided the overall cost of the home does not exceed Rs. 45 lakh and Rs. 30 lakh respectively.

The banking regulator said it may also tighten loan to value ratio (amount of loan to the total cost of a house) or increase the risk weight if there is a need.

Did you Know

Priority Sector Lending is an important role given by RBI to the banks for providing a specified portion of the bank lending to few specific sectors like agriculture and allied activities, micro and small enterprises, poor people for housing, students for education and other low income groups and weaker sections.

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Markets end losing streak; mid-caps, small-caps gain

The equity benchmark indices snapped their three-day losing streak.

Both the BSE Smallcap and BSE Midcap indices gained more than 1% each.

Did you Know

A small cap company with a market capitalization of between $300 million and $2 billion.
Ex: TCS, Reliance Ind, ITC Ltd.
A mid-cap is a company with a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion.
Ex: Voltas Ltd., Bank of Maharashtra
Large cap ("big cap") refers to a company with a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion.
Ex: Mercator Ltd, Essar Shipping

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Fuego Volcano Erupted

Guatemala"s Fuego volcano erupted by shooting a dense cloud of ash shooting into the sky and sending a hail of fiery rock fragments and scalding mud down the mountainside.

Fuego has been erupting since 2002, and was continuously active in 2017.

Did you Know

Fuego is a stratovolcano or composite volcano.
Its steep, conical shape, which is typical of this type of volcano, can be seen from the capital, Guatemala City, 44km south-west of Fuego"s summit.