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14th July 2018 Current Affairs-Bitwise

India going ahead with purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia Current Affairs
  • India is going ahead with the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia despite American concerns, and has told the U.S. that it is for them to address concerns over its recent Russia sanctions.

What is Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)?

  • It will enable Indian military to obtain encrypted communication systems from the U.S., Ms. Sitharaman indicated that no agreement has been reached yet.

What is CAATSA?

  • The U.S. has passed the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act) that proposes to impose sanctions on nations that have significant defense relations with Russia.
  • While the U.S. Administration has said waivers will be incorporated in it to protect friends and allies, it is yet to be done.
  • This has generated significant concern in India which is heavily dependent on Russia for military hardware.

India’s first ‘2+2’ dialogue with US to take place in September
  • India’s first 2+2 dialogue with the US, which was postponed this month, would now take place in the first week of September
  • ‘2+2’ dialogue is a meeting between the ministers for External Affairs and Defense and the US secretaries of state and defense, citing “unavoidable reasons”.
  • The “2+2” dialogue is meant to replace the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue between the foreign and commerce ministers of the two countries that was held during the previous Obama administration.
  • The delay had led to several speculations doing the rounds that US was apparently not happy with India going ahead with its plan to buy S-400 missiles from Russia, which falls under the category of equipment targeted under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Government gives nod to Iran bank in Mumbai before US sanctions
  • The Finance Ministry has conveyed to the RBI that it has no objection to allowing the Tehran-based Bank Pasargad to open its branch in India.
  • The clearance to the Iranian bank comes amidst the US announcing sanctions and asking other countries to minimize oil purchases from Iran
  • The Federation of Indian Export Organisations had earlier approached the RBI suggesting that they should allow the entry of Iranian banks into India to facilitate bilateral trade. Apart from the Iranian Bank, branch licence proposals of two South Korean banks, KEB Hana Bank and Kookmin Bank, have also been approved by the Centre.
  • The RBI gives its first internal clearance to a foreign bank branch proposal, it is vetted by a committee comprising senior officials of the ministries of Finance, Commerce, External Affairs and Home Affairs. Clearance from each ministry is required before the RBI issues a license to a foreign bank.


  • In the wake of US sanctions, India may explore the possibility of reviving the rupee-rial arrangement to import oil from Iran that it has used in the past.
  • The presence of an Iranian bank in India will open up a significant financial channel that will ensure the smooth flow of funds between the two countries.
  • India imports a large quantity of oil from Iran and has committed an investment of $500 million for the development of the crucial Chabahar port.


  • The rupee-rial arrangement was used to buy oil from Iran before US sanctions were lifted against it three years ago.
  • Under this mechanism, India paid in Euros to clear 55 per cent of its dues, while the remaining 45 per cent payment was remitted in rupees into accounts Iranian oil companies had with UCO Bank.


Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi urges the States to ensure effective implementation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005
  • To provide immediate protection and relief to women facing violence within families, Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, wrote to all Chief Ministers to ensure that the provisions of the ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005’ are effectively implemented.
  • She particularly urged the States that sufficient number of Protection Officers (POs) be appointed with independent charge of the Act and that their details be made available in public domain so that they were accessible to any aggrieved woman.
  • She has further mentioned that for the convenience of women, Form IV of the Act, which enumerates the rights of the women, be translated into local languages.
  • She has also requested that a separate budget be allocated for the smooth functioning of POs, providing support to survivors, capacity building for staff and for generating awareness.

Survey launched to rank States on rural cleanliness
  • The Centre has launched the Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 2018, a nationwide survey of rural India to rank the cleanest and dirtiest States and districts on the basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
  • This is the first comprehensive survey for rural India, which has been launched after three successful editions of a similar survey in urban India.
  • It is launched by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen 6,980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered. Total 34,000 public places namely schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places in these villages will be visited for survey. Citizens’ feedback will be collected from over 50 lakh citizens on SBM related issues through direct interaction as well as online feedback.
Parameters of survey:
During the process, 65% weightage has been assigned to the findings and outcome from the survey and 35% to the service level parameters to be obtained from the IMIS of the MDWS. The weights to different elements of the SSG would be as below:
  • Direct Observation of sanitation in public places: 30%
  • Citizen’s Feedback on sanitation parameters: 35%
  • Service Level Progress on sanitation progress in the country as per SBMG- MIS: 35%

Proposal for construction of break water harbor in Konkan
  • The Nivati-Medha break water harbor in the Konkan region of Maharashtra is being considered under “12 Champion Sectors initiative” of the Ministry of Commerce.
  • Suresh Prabhu directed concerned officials to expedite the construction of the breakwater harbor once the Maharashtra Maritime Board approves the proposal.
  • In the absence of such a harbor the financial condition of fishermen in the area is deteriorating as they are totally dependent on the vagaries of the sea.

State’s annual credit plan pegged at
Rs.1.94 lakh crore
  • Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu launched the State annual credit plan of 2018-19 with a total outlay of Rs.1,94,220 crore at the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting held in Vijayawada.
  • The total credit for agriculture sector, including farm credit, agriculture infrastructure and ancillary activities, would be 13.53% more than previous year (2017).
  • The priority sector lending would go up by 19.11% as against last credit plan.
  • The SLBC also proposed a significant increase in credit for MSMEs, education, housing and other priority sectors.
  • Horticulture and aquaculture were also being promoted in a big way.
  • 34% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) comes from agriculture sector.

Governor wants banks to support ryot-friendly policies
  • Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan has exhorted banks to extend their support to farmer-friendly policies initiated by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments for ensuring reduction of distress among the farming community.
  • Mr. Narasimhan participated as chief guest at the 37th Foundation Day of NABARD organized.
  • Short term refinance support of Rs. 4,740 crore had been released by NABARD to the cooperative banks and regional rural banks in the State in addition to long term refinance of Rs. 4,586 crore extended to banks towards their loans, asset creation and capital formation in the rural areas.


Cows kill leopard in Maharashtra
  • Cows attacked a leopard for killing their calf, died yesterday (13th July, 2018).
  • This incident happened in Gautala wildlife sanctuary in Aurangabad.

Gautala wildlife sanctuary
  • Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary is a protected area of Maharashtra state, India.
  • It lies in the Satmala and Ajantha hill ranges of the Western Ghats, and administratively is in Aurangabad District and Jalgaon District.
  • The wildlife sanctuary was established in 1986 in an existing reserved forest area.


Hima Das won Gold Medal in Women’s 400m event at IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championships
  • No athlete from the nation of India has ever won a gold medal in track and field at the Summer Olympics.
  • No female athlete from the nation of 1.3 billion has ever medaled in any track event at the games, period.
  • Hima Das fledgling sprinter took home the nation’s first gold medal in major track event using a furious kick down the final straightaway to handily win the 400 meters under-20 world title.
  • She’s the first runner in India’s history to medal in the IAAF’s junior championship and hails from Assam.

Indian students bag three silver and two bronze medals in 59th International Mathematical Olympiad
  • A team of Indian students bagged three silver and two bronze medals at the 59th International Mathematical Olympiad, held in Cluj Napoca, Romania from July 4 - 14, 2018.
  • Three of the six Indian students bagged Silver medals, two got Bronze medals and one received honorable mention.
  • Pranjal Srivastava, Pulkit Sinha and Anant Mudgal secured silver medals; Spandan Ghosh and Sutanay Bhattacharya won Bronze Medals, and Amit Kumar Mallik received Honorable mention in this International Mathematical Olympiad 2018.
  • Among the above six, Pranjal Srivastava (Age 14) is the youngest Indian student to secure a silver medal in IMO 2018.
Published on 7/14/2018 4:52:00 PM

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