2013 - July 18 - Current Affairs


National Issues


The Centre has earmarked 600 crore rupees for development of railway network in the north eastern region. Of this, 400 crores will be spent on three critical railway lines- Harmati-Naharlagun project providing the first rail connectivity to Arunachal Pradesh, Dudhnoi- Mehdipathar project connecting Meghalaya and the Rangapura- North.



India is to achieve 80% literacy rate in the next two years. This was stated by the HRD Minister Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju while inaugurating an International Conference on Achieving Literacy for All. 

The literacy rate of India is 73 per cent at present as per the 2011 Census. He said that more than 20 crore people have become literates since the last Census of 2001 out of which more than half of them are females. 

To achieve the goal of 80 per cent literacy by 2015, the HRM said that the HRD Ministry is restructuring the entire adult education system in the country with a paradigm shift to lifelong education. 



The HRD Ministry has announced setting up a new committee to go into the quality aspect of the Mid Day Meal Scheme nationwide.



The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has constituted a committee to frame a draft policy on granting extension to production sharing contracts (PSCs) awarded to private joint ventures where the economic life of the field is not yet over when the PSCs get due for expiry. The decision to constitute the committee comes in the wake of representation by the industry. 


Economic Issues


As per the latest data by World Federation of Exchanges, National Stock Exchange (NSE) has regained its position as the world’s largest bourse in terms of volume in equity trade in June 2013. 

NSE has maintains its lead in the first three months of 2013, but slipped to second Slot in April and May 2013. 


Persons


An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions authored by Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen was released in the third week of July 2013. 


Awards


Paul Hewson, popularly known as Bono, the frontman of the rock band U2 as well as the anti-poverty activist was awarded with the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, the highest cultural award of France on 17 July 2013 for the contribution to music. 


Science and Technology


Sanjay Sreekumar, the Indian-origin student in Australia developed a smartphone application which helps in detecting the breast cancer early. 

Sanjay Sreekumar is the software engineering undergraduate from Australian National University. 

The application was designed by him for the Young Adults Programme (YAP), the breast cancer awareness organisation. 

The application known as Yap app allows the individuals to monitor the early signs of breast cancer on their own. 


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