1. India ratifies 2nd commitment period of Kyoto Protocol
India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases, reaffirming its stand on climate action.
With this, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international emissions reduction treaty.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
2. Kotak Bank launches debit card offer for zero balance account
Private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank said that it will offer debit card at a special price of Rs 99 for the first year for customers who will open account under its zero balance account scheme till September 15.
To mark the 70th anniversary of country’s independence, the special edition debit card will be available to customers who open an 811 account from August 8, 2017 to September 15, 2017, the bank said in a statement.
3. Delhi India’s largest, Asia’s fastest growing city
Delhi will have the fastest growth of any city in Asia, with the economy of the city-state likely to become almost 50% larger in 2021 than it was at the end of last year.
According to a new study from Oxford Economics, Indian cities are set to expand the most across the Asian region, with growth speeding up from the past five years.
4. Anti-dumping duty on 93 products from China
The government today said anti-dumping duty is in force on 93 products including chemicals and machinery items imported from China. The other Chinese products on which India has imposed this duty include steel and other metals, fibres and yarn, rubber or plastic, electric and electronics and consumer goods.
Nirmala Sitharaman said that India’s imports from China in 2016–17 have marginally dipped to USD 61.28 billion as compared to USD 61.7 billion in 2015–16.
5. Qatar waives visas for 80 countries
Qatar announced on Wednesday a programme to allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries to encourage air transport and tourism amid a two-month boycott imposed on the Gulf state by its neighbours.
Nationals from dozens of countries in Europe and elsewhere including India, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa, and the US will now receive tourist visas on arrival to the gas-rich country which hosts the soccer World Cup in 2022.
6. Internet Archive blocked after Madras high court order
Indian Internet service providers (ISPs) blocked access to the popular Internet Archive after a Madras high court order listed it among 2,650 websites, including file-sharing ones, that it wanted blocked.
The fact that the Internet Archive had been blocked first came to light on Tuesday. Interestingly, the most popular aspect of the archive is the Wayback Machine, a utility that allows users to see older versions of the same website. The Wayback Machine is popular with fact checkers and researchers.
7. Separate education board for ITI students
Hoping to bring skill and vocational training at parity with formal education, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is planning to set up a separate education board that would bring pass outs from Industrial Training Institutes at par with Class 10 and 12 certificates.
The move would benefit over 2.3 million students who are getting vocational training annually by awarding them with academic certificates that are equivalent to those given by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) .Students who pass these courses would not have to go back and pass their Class 10 and Class 12 examinations for enrolling in a college for formal education.
8. NCERT launches portal for home delivery of books
Students can now get NCERT books delivered to their places with the National Council of Educational Research and Training launching an online portal .
The portal will ensure better distribution of NCERT books across the country and will also address the apprehensions of schools and parents about their availability.
A senior NCERT official said that Retail sale counters will continue selling the books.The CBSE has written to over 19,000 affiliated schools to use the portal to order books .
9. Milky Way dotted with 100m black hole
According to scientists,There may be as many as 100 million black holes in the Milky Way galaxy, including one of Indian origin, who conducted a cosmic survey to calculate and categorise the enigmatic, dark objects.
The celestial census began more than a year and a half ago, shortly after the news that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) had detected ripples in the space-time continuum created by the distant collision of two black holes, each the size of 30 Suns.
10. Don’t run Railways just as a business: panel
A parliamentary panel on the Indian Railways has counselled the Centre not to consider the national transporter a commercial undertaking, while asking the government to find ways to fund ‘socially desirable projects’.
The Committee was apprised that, while the Railways had not yet received a response from the Finance Ministry, steps had been initiated in this regard by merging the Rail Budget with the General Budget.