Daily News


India hits back at the U.S. with tariffs

India has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of its decision to impose higher import tariffs on 30 US goods - including motorcycles and heavy machinery as well as many agro products such as almonds, shrimps and chocolates - which is expected to rake in an additional $240 million.

The move comes after India received a cold shoulder from Washington DC on its request for exempting India from the higher tariffs announced by the US on steel and aluminium imports.

Did you Know

Tariffs are used to restrict imports by increasing the price of goods and services purchased from overseas and making them less attractive to consumers. A specific tariff is levied as a fixed fee based on the type of item.
WTO Leader: Roberto Azevedo
Headquarter-Geneva, Switzerland


Novel gold nanocomplex for cancer drug delivery

Using gold nanoparticles coated with a simple organic molecule (porphyrin), researchers from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, have designed an efficient drug nanocarrier. The nanocarrier can effectively deliver doxorubicin (anti-tumour drug) to the nucleus of the diseased cell and bring about programmed cell death.

Multidrug resistance is one of the major barriers in cancer cells, where the drug is quickly ejected out, reducing the effective drug concentrations within the cells and thus decreases its sensitivity.

Did you Know

Porphyrin is a simple organic compound which gives the necessary protection and stability to the Nano surface. Porphyrins are essential co-factors in many human proteins such as haemoglobin and so it can escape from the macrophages in our body,


Fitch ups India growth forecast to 7.4% for FY'19

Fitch Ratings raised India growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.4 per cent from 7.3 per cent but cited higher financing costs and rising oil prices as risks to growth.

For 2019-20, it has estimated the country to grow at 7.5 per cent.

According to the agency India has better macroeconomic fundamentals than in 2013 and very low foreign ownership rates in the domestic government bond market, but the current account deficit has been widening because of rising oil prices, reviving domestic demand and poor manufacturing export performance.

Did you Know

Last month,US-based Moody’s cut India’s growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent citing rising oil prices.
Fitch Ratings Inc. is one of the "Big Three credit rating agencies", the other two being Moody's and Standard & Poor's.


Record-Breaking Astronaut Peggy Whitson Retires from NASA

NASA’s record-breaking astronaut, Peggy Whitson, retired after a 22-year-long career.

She’s spent more time off the planet than any other American: 665 days over three space station missions. She’s also the world’s most experienced female spacewalker, with 10 under her spacesuit belt.

The 58-year-old biochemist, who grew up on an Iowa hog farm, joined NASA as a researcher in 1986 and became an astronaut in 1996. Her last spaceflight, spanning 2016 and 2017, lasted close to 10 months.

Did you Know

Peggy Whitson was the first woman to command the International Space Station, holding the position twice, and the oldest woman ever to fly in space. She was also the only woman to have served as chief of NASA’s astronaut corps.


NSG plenary to witness renewed push for India's membership

India is set to renew its push for its bid to become a member of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the two-day meeting of the bloc in Latvia.

India applied for the NSG membership in 2016, but was blocked by China which insists that India is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

It's cause is expected to get support from countries such as the US, Russia and France, which have been strong votaries of India's inclusion into the club.

Did you Know

This was the first NSG plenary after India became a member of all the three export control regimes — Missile Technical Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016, the Australia Group in 2017 and the Wassenaar Arrangement in 2018.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a multilateral export control regime and a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation.


Veteran journalist Adiraju Venkateswara Rao passes away

Senior journalist and writer Adiraju Venkateswara Rao passed away, he was 79.

He was a native of Khammam district and worked in different Telugu and English newspapers & also authored several books. He played an active role in the separate Telangana agitation in 1969 and the state government honoured him during the Telangana formation day celebrations.

Did you Know

Adiraju Venkateswara worked for several Telugu and English dailies and news agencies including Andhra Jyothi, Udayam, Deccan Chronicle, Indian Express, Himachal Times and Hindustan Samachar at Hyderabad and Delhi.


International Day of Family Remittances observed

International Day of Family Remittances(IDFR) was observed on 16 June, aimed at efforts to help remittance-receiving families and building a sustainable future for themselves and their communities.

IDFR also emphasizes at encouraging the public and private sectors, as well as the civil society, to do more together and collaborate to maximize the impact of these funds in the developing world.

Did you Know

The IDFR was unanimously proclaimed by all 176-member states of IFAD's Governing Council at its 38th session in February 2015, and adopted by the UN General Assembly in June 2018.


Almost 1 million people 'testing' WhatsApp payments service in India

According to the reports,almost one million people in India are "testing" the Facebook owned WhatsApp's payments service.

Whatsapp had received permission from NPCI to tie up with banks to facilitate financial transactions via Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

It is working closely with the Indian government, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and multiple banks, including payment service providers, to expand the feature to more people and support India's digital economy.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had earlier this year alleged that WhatsApp's UPI payment platform has security risks for consumers and is not in compliance with the guidelines.

Did you Know

WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware and cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service owned by Facebook.The application allows the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location.


SAARC fund to launch social enterprise programme

SAARC Development Fund (SDF) is set to launch a social enterprise development programme (SEDP) to fund 80 entities annually across the 8-member states including India.

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.

The SDF would create access to financial services which can in-turn boost job creation, raise income, reduce vulnerability and increase investments in human capital in -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (SAARC members).

Did you Know

SAARC Development Fund (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.
CEO of SDF- Sunil Motiwal


States collect taxes worth Rs 10,000 crore online

According to a Road Transport and Highways Ministry's document,states have collected taxes to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore online since the roll-out of Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP), which has also automated regional transport operations (RTOs), under the Centre's ambitious e-Governance initiative.

Under the e- Governance initiative,the government has set up a consolidated nation-wise transport database and launched citizens and trade-centric applications.

The applications have been implemented in more than 1,000 RTOs across 33 states and Union territories - with state-specific rules, tax structures.

Did you Know

Two flagship applications under Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP) are Vahan and Sarathi
Vahan deal with vehicle registration, taxation, permit, fitness and associated services while Sarathi is related to driving licence, learner licence, driving schools and related activities.


US pips India as top greenfield FDI investment destination

According to FDI Report 2018 compiled by FDI Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times Ltd. The US 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 per cent to 637.

India had maintained the numero uno slot in greenfield FDI investment in 2015 and 2016. However, in 2017, the US reclaimed the spot from India, recording USD 87.4 billion of announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Did you Know

A foreign direct investment is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. It is thus distinguished from a foreign portfolio investment by a notion of direct control.