Asia’s first patent arbitration centre
- Asia’s 1st arbitration centre specialised in intellectual property will open in Tokyo to resolve growing number of disputes in the region.
- International Arbitration Centre in Tokyo is set to have around a dozen arbitrators from around the world, who would try to resolve disputes within a period of 1 year.
- IACT is due to handle disputes between non-Japanese companies, if both parties agree.
Final Nepal-India EPG meeting ends
- The 9th & final meeting of Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations concluded in Kathmandu.
- The Representatives from Nepal & India deliberated upon various bilateral issues including 1950 Peace & Friendship treaty, trade, transit and border.
- EPG is a joint mechanism consisting of experts & intellectuals from India & Nepal to make suggestions for updating existing bilateral agreements.
FPI outflow hits 10-year high at Rs 48,000 cr
- Overseas investors have pulled out nearly Rs 48,000 crore from Indian capital markets in the first 6 months of 2018, making it the steepest outflow in a decade.
- They withdrew Rs 41,433 crore from the debt markets & Rs 6,430 crore from equities during Jan-June period.
- This is only the second time, when FPIs had taken bearish stance on the capital markets in the first 6 months of the year.
UNESCO adds 8 pre-Islamic Iranian sites
- UNESCO has added 8 pre-Islamic Iranian archeological sites to its World Heritage List.
- The sites collectively appear on the worldwide list as the “Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region (Islamic Republic of Iran)”.
- With the latest addition, Iran now has 24 sites on the heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Railways eliminates unmanned level crossing
- Indian Railways has eliminated all unmanned level crossings from 4 zones.
- It had targeted to remove all such crossings in 11 of its zones by September 2018.
- West Central Railway, Central Railway, Eastern Railway & South East Central Railway have now become Unmanned Level Crossings free.
- Almost all UMLC on routes having speed of 100 kmph or more has been eliminated so far.
19,500+ mother tongues spoken in India
- According to the latest analysis of 2011 census, more than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongues.
- There are 121 languages which are spoken by 10,000 or more people in India, which has a population of 121 crore.
- 96.71% population in the country have one of the 22 scheduled languages as their mother tongue.
Rabies is India’s most fatal infection
- According to data from National Health Profile 2018, Rabies is the only disease that had a 100% death rate in India in 2017.
- The vaccine-preventable viral disease spreads to people through bites or scratches of animals, mostly infected dogs.
- There were 4,370 rabies deaths in India in 2016, which accounted for 1 in 3 of the world’s 13,340 rabies deaths.
Agni-V to be inducted soon
- India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system – Agni-V.
- The missile system, with a strike range of 5,000 km and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, is being inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command.
- The missile is capable of bringing targets across China including its prominent cities like Beijing & Shanghai under its range.
Swaraj inaugurates heads of missions meet
- Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the 9th Heads of Mission Conference in New Delhi.
- Government is likely to brief the diplomats on economic reform taken for improving ease-of-doing business in India.
- Theme of the conference is ‘Unprecedented Outreach: Unparalleled Outcomes’.
- It comes at a time when India is monitoring important global developments including sanctions imposed by US on Russia & Iran.
World heritage tag for Victorian and Art Deco
- Victorian Gothic & Art Deco buildings of Mumbai have been declared as a World Heritage site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.
- The decision was taken at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in Bahrain.
- With this, Mumbai gets its 3rd such site – Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus are also on the UNESCO list.
Anjolie Ela Menon conferred the Kalidas Award
- Noted artist Anjolie Ela Menon has received the National Kalidas Samman for visual arts from the Madhya Pradesh government.
- The award was conferred in recognition of her insightful and sensitive portrayal of the identity and spirit of women through her meaningful paintings in a variety of media.
- Menon is India’s most accomplished artists and is the recipient of the Padma Shri.
India clinch Kabaddi Masters title
- Putting up yet another superlative show, India thrashed Iran 44-26 to emerge champions of the six-nation Kabaddi Masters Dubai.
- India is the reigning world champions and has won gold medals in all the Asian Games to date, and all World Cup events so far.
- The six-nation invitational tournament was organised by International Kabaddi Federation.
Economy and Finance
FDI growth hits 5-year low in 2017-18
- Foreign direct investment in India seems to be petering out with the inflows growth rate recording a five-year low of 3% at USD 44.85 billion in 2017-18.
- Foreign inflows in the country grew by 8.67% in 2016-17, 29% in 2015-16 and 27% in 2014-15.
- Mauritius has emerged as the largest source of FDI in India with USD 15.94 billion in 2017-18 followed by Singapore, Netherlands, US & Japan.
Tie-up to develop commodity derivatives market
- Bombay Stock Exchange has entered into an agreement with Bombay Metal Exchange for growth & systematic development of commodity derivatives markets in non-ferrous metals complex.
- Through this MoU, BSE & BME will work jointly on initiatives to deepen the understanding of commodity market among stakeholders.
- BME will assist BSE in designing innovative deliverable products in commodities.
Recommendations for the post of MD in PSB
- Bank Boards Bureau has recommended names of 15 officials for the posts of MD and CEO in several public sector banks.
- The bureau has recommended Anshula Kant, the current deputy managing director of SBI for the post of MD in the bank.
- The post was vacant following the resignation of B. Sriram as the MD of the bank.
- The other 14 names recommended include 6 current DMDs of SBI.
Money in Swiss banks
- India has moved up to 73rd place in terms of money parked by its citizens & companies with Swiss banks.
- India had slipped to 88th place with a 44% plunge in such funds in 2016, but the latest data shows an increase of over 50% during 2017 to CHF 1.01 billion (about Rs 7,000 cr).
- UK continued to account for the largest chunk at about CHF 403 billion of the total foreign money with Swiss banks
Vitorino to be the head of UN migration agency
- Portugal’s Antonio Manuel de Carvalho Ferreira Vitorino has been elected as the new head of the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).
- Vitorino succeeds William Lacy Swing, who is leaving the IOM after serving two five-year terms as director general.
- Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration.
IRDAI gives nod to LIC to buy stake in IDBI
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has approved a proposal by LIC to raise its stake in IDBI Bank up to 51% from current 10.82%.
- It will save government from having to infuse more funds into IDBI Bank, which had received Rs 10,610 crore last fiscal, the most by any public-sector bank.
- The acquisition will be seen only as an investment & LIC will gradually lower its stake
Panel to upgrade norms for data collection
- Government has set up a 13-member committee to upgrade the norms for computation of economic data at states & districts level.
- The Committee for Sub-National Accounts will be headed by Ravindra Dholakia, a retired professor of IIM Ahmedabad.
- Panel has been asked to review concepts, definitions, data sources & requirements for preparation of State Domestic Product & District Domestic Product.
July 1 to be celebrated as ‘GST Day
- The government will celebrate July 1, 2018, as ‘GST Day’ to mark the first anniversary of the new indirect tax regime.
- Goods and Services Tax was rolled out in the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, 2017, in a ceremony held in the Central Hall of Parliament.
- GST binds India into an Economic Union, promotes ‘Make in India’ and has improved ‘Ease of Doing Business.
Thought of the Day
“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance”