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2013 - July 17 - Current Affairs

National Issues

The Union Cabinet on July 17 gave its approval for renaming Bengaluru International Airport as "Kempegowda International Airport" to fulfill the long pending demand of the people of Karnataka, as well as the State Government of Karnataka. 

Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) is the premiere Greenfield Airport in South India. It was commissioned and became operational on 24th May, 2008. 

It is owned and operated by Bengaluru International Airport Pvt. Limited (BIAL). in which KSSIDC (an entity of the Government of Karnataka), the Airports Authority of India, GVK Group, Siemens and Zurich Airport are shareholders. 

BIA is the fifth busiest airport in the country, built over an area of 4,000 acres. 

The Cabinet has approved certain amendments to the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012. 

The Bill seeks to abolish manual scavenging. The Bill was introduced in Parliament on September 3, 2012 and referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment. 

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Selja had recently said, manual scavenging remained in practice in many parts of the country despite being banned and termed it as a blot on the country. 

The Cabinet has also approved GoM's recommendations on Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill. 

The Bill seeks to change Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act to introduce the option of divorce on grounds of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. 

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has launched a nation-wide National Tobacco Control Campaign called “Tears you apart”. The Campaign aims to raise public awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco consumed by tens of millions of Indian every day. 

Smokeless tobacco is the most-used form of tobacco in India among lower socioeconomic groups and women in particular preferring smokeless tobacco over smoking forms. 

Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) found that 21 crore Indian use smokeless tobacco. 26% of adults consume smokeless tobacco in India – 33% of adult males and 18.4% of adult females. 

Smokeless tobacco includes: gutkha, zarda, paan masala, zarda, paan with tobacco, and khaini. The Campaign has been developed with technical support from world Lung Foundation. 

The Department of Food & Public Distribution on 16 July 2013 launched the system of electronic transfer of funds to ensure quick and direct transfer of funds to its beneficiaries. 

The electronic transfer would help in bringing in more efficiency in the financial working of the department. 

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has a major role to play in the payment of subsidies particularly Food and Sugar covering a substantial amount of Budget outflow. 

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on 16 July 2013 announced that the government would provide free pre-natal health care and ambulance facilities to pregnant women across the country. 

Under the Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) scheme pregnant women are provided free medical treatment during the delivery and post natal care. 

The Pregnant women will be given free medical and ambulance facilities from conception to delivery. 

In Madhya Pradesh, the state cabinet on 17 July 2013 decided to implement Madhya Pradesh Police Health Security Scheme for police officers and employees. 

The scheme will be applicable only to the police personnel working in the state. 

The scheme will not be applicable to Indian Police Service officers. It will be run by a registered trust, whose state-level management committee will be headed by the Director General of Police. 

Each member will have to deposit entry fee of 100 rupee and 50 rupees per month contribution. Members and their dependents will be entitled for treatment of up to 8 lakh rupees in a financial year. They can avail the treatment facility in hospitals recognised by the state government. 

The Supreme Court of India on 17 July 2013 refused to reduce the age of juvenile from 18 to 16 years and dismissed a plea that minors involved in heinous crimes should not be protected under the law. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir ruled that interference in the Juvenile Justice Act is not necessary and dismissed a batch of PILs which were filed in the aftermath of the 16 December 2012 brutal gang-rape and murder case in which a minor was also allegedly involved. 

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the National Weekly Iron and Folic Acid (WIFS) supplementation programme for adolescents in Bangalore on 17 July 2013. 

It is a unique initiative to protect the adolescent population from iron deficiency anemia. 

Around 13 crore children will benefit from this programme. According to the health ministry, 70 percent children below five years, 56 percent adolescent girls and 30 percent adolescent boys are anaemic in India. 

Economic Issues

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved an allocation of 50 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to States/ Union Territories (UTs) during 2013-14 for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. 

This additional allocation of 50 lakh tonnes will remain valid for lifting upto 31st March, 2014 or till the National Food Security Bill is passed by Parliament and implemented in the respective States/UTs. 

The allocation will meet the additional requirement of foodgrains for BPL families. 

The estimated subsidy on additional allocation of 50 lakh tones of foodgrains (rice and wheat) for BPL families in all the States/UTs at BPL prices during 2013-14 will be Rs.9471.22 crore. 

Considering the sufficient availability of stock of foodgrains in the Central Pool and requests received from States/UTs, Government has been allocating additional BPL allocation of 50 lakh tonnes of wheat and rice to the States/UTs since 2010-11. 

The Government of India is allocating foodgrains to the States/UTs under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) for 6.52 crore BPL families which include 2.43 crore Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families. 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for implementing the Plan Scheme "Development Communication and Information Dissemination" during the 12th Plan period with an outlay of Rs.630 crore. 

The Plan scheme envisages making the common person aware of the benefits envisaged in various Government schemes so that the benefit of these schemes is realized to the maximum possible extent. 

The scheme will be implemented by the media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, through various modes of awareness generation such as; outdoor publicity, electronic and print media, Public Information Campaigns, press tours, conducted tours, people to people contact, special outreach programmes, live art and culture shows, the new media etc. 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of the research and development programme in the water sector with an outlay of Rs. 360 crore during the XII Plan. 

The scheme aims to improve available technologies to achieve optimal efficiency and economy in planning, design, construction and operation of water resources projects. 

The scheme includes activities such as 
  • ‘Research and Development in apex organisations at National level`, 
  • `Sponsoring and coordinating research in water sector`, 
  • `Support for dissemination of research findings and technology transfer`, 
  • `Evaluation of Research and Development activities and consultancies`. 

The scheme aims at finding solutions to problems relating to water resources in view of the increasing demand for water due to rapid population growth, urbanization, industrialization and climate change. 

The identified activities will be implemented by the organisations of Ministry of Water Resources. They are the Central Water and Power Research Station, the Central Soil and Materials Research Station, the National Institute of Hydrology and the Central Water Commission. 

Other institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology, universities and research laboratories will also be involved in research activities under the scheme. 

The government has taken a series of measures to boost Foreign Direct Investment in the country. The Prime Minister discussed the proposal to hike FDI in various sectors with cabinet ministers last evening, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said the FDI in the Insurance and Telecom sectors will be upto 49 per cent through automatic route. But the FDI limit in Telecom sector has been raised from 74 to 100 per cent. 

In single brand retail, the FDI will be through automatic route upto 49 per cent and the remaining will be through FIPB route. He said, FDI in asset reconstruction companies will be upto 49 per cent through automatic route. The Minister said the FDI in Defence Production will continue to be 26 per cent. 

However, it will be through FIPB route for state of art technologies, and investment beyond that will go to Cabinet Committee on Security. FDI in Credit Information Companies has been raised to 74 per cent from 49 per cent. 

The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to ensure that they have sufficient collateral securities in their accounts while borrowing under the repo window. 

These instructions were issued in view of the restrictions announced by RBI on July 15, to stem rupee’s fall. Accordingly, with effect from July 17, RBI will limit the daily borrowing by banks to 75,000 crore rupees. 


India have bagged an unprecedented nine medals, including four gold, in the Golden Glove of Vojvodina -- an international boxing tournament being held in Kikinda, Serbia. 

A Silambarasan (52kg) and Manish Solanki (69kg) bagged the yellow metal in the men's section while Rajesh Kumari (48kg) and Chanda Udanshive (51kg) won the same in the women's division. 

India's tally also included five Silver medals which came through Lalitha Prasad (49kg) and Neeraj Parashar (64kg) Marthamma Sattivada (64kg), Diksha (91kg) and Pema Chotan (+91kg). 

Silambarasan was declared the "Best Fighter of the Tournament'. 



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