1. Union Government aims to roll out GST from April 1, 2017
i. The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the Government has set the ambitious target to roll out of the Goods and Services Tax, (GST) from 1st April 2017.
ii. Mr. Jaitley also unveiled a detailed roadmap for GST implementation.
iii. This announcement was made after Rajya Sabha had passed The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014.
2. Union Government fixes an inflation target of 4 percent for five years
i. The Union Government has set an inflation target of 4 % for the next five years with a range of plus/minus 2 % for the next five years under the monetary policy framework agreement with the Reserve Bank.
ii. In this regard, Union Government will soon set-up Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to adhere to the target till March 31, 2021.
iii. This target was fixed after the Union Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had reached an agreement on a monetary policy framework.
3. South India’s first Doppler weather radar inaugurated
i. ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar has inaugurated a ‘C Band Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radar’ at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.
ii. It is first of its kind in South India. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the first Doppler weather radar in Cherrapunji which was built by the ISRO and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) in May. The work was on for two more Doppler radars to be set up in Bhuj in Gujarat and Gopalpur.
iii. This Doppler weather radar can provide advance information about storms, cyclones, and other severe weather conditions. The data from this radar would be available to India Meteorological Department (IMD) to supplement its weather predictions and also to researchers and user agencies.
4. Centre launches nation-wide breastfeeding programme
i. Centre has launched a nation-wide breastfeeding programme “MAA – Mother’s Absolute Affection” with an aim to enhance optimal breastfeeding practices in New Delhi.
ii. MAA is an intensified programme of the Health Ministry for creating an enabling environment to ensure that mothers, husbands, and families receive adequate information and support for the promotion of breastfeeding.
iii. The Ministry has also allocated 30 crore rupees for the Programme and 4.3 lakh rupees for each district for implementing the various activities under MAA programme.
5. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated India’s International Footwear Fair
i. A three day long India’s International Footwear Fair (IIFF) has been launched by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on August 5th in New Delhi.
ii. This year around 263 companies from India and abroad are participating in the event.
6. Railways, Chhattisgarh govt. ink agreement for the formation of JV
i. The Ministry of Railways has signed an agreement with the Chhattisgarh government for the formation of a joint venture (JV) company for focused resource mobilisation, implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects.
ii. Mr. S. C. Jain, Executive Director (Works) signed the agreement on behalf of the Railways Ministry while Mr. Subodh Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Commerce & Industry, Chhattisgarh and Secretary to Chief Minister signed for the State.
iii. Chhattisgarh has become the third state to sign JV Agreement with the Ministry after Odisha and Haryana. The JV company will have 51% share from Government of Chhattisgarh and 49% from Ministry of Railways and will work in identifying projects which may be taken up in Chhattisgarh.
7. Naidu launches Swachh Survekshan for 500 cities
i. Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu has launched Swachh Survekshan-2017 for 500 cities in the country with an idea to make competitive environment make the cities clean in New Delhi.
ii. The main objective of Swach Survekshan is not to point out shortcomings but to suggest ways to improve the state of cleanliness in the particular area.
iii. This is the second round of survey to cover 500 cities and towns, including those with a population of one lakh and above, besides capital towns with less than one lakh population and towns known for heritage, tourism, and hilly locations.
8. Maharashtra Government to provide as many as 1,200 wi-fi hotspots in Mumbai
i. Chief Minister of Maharastra Government Mr. Devendra Fadnavis has stated that Maharashtra government will provide as many as 1,200 wi-fi hotspots in the megapolis as a part of transforming Mumbai into a Smart City.
ii. As the state government wants to make Mumbai a wi-fi city by May 2017 with 1,200 hotspots at important places.
iii. While out of the total of 1,200 hotspots, 500 will be operational in the first phase by November 2016.
9. Javadekar inaugurated transit campus of IIT in Jammu
i. Union Minister for Human Resource and Development Prakash Javadekar has inaugurated the transit campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at village Jagti, Tehsil Nagrota in Jammu.
ii. Even a total of 90 students has been enrolled at IIT Jammu for the academic session.
iii. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had also been signed between the Department of Higher Education, Jammu and Kashmir and the Department of Higher Education in the HRD Ministry, on May 1, 2016, in this regard.
10. Kolkata hosts 64-day- long theatre festival
i. The Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), an autonomous organization under Government of India’s Ministry of Culture, has organized a 64-day-long theatre festival in Kolkata.
ii. The festival- Kolkata Theatre Festival 2016- will showcase as many as 245 theatres of several groups at Bharatiyam Cultural Multiplex in Kolkata’s satellite town Salt Lake.
iii. This is the biggest theatre festival, not even in Kolkata but in the World as well.
11. China successfully launches the first satellite for mobile telecommunication
i. China has successfully launched the first Tiantong satellite for mobile telecommunication at southwestern China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center, with the Long March-3B carrier rocket.
ii. It is the first satellite of China’s home-made satellite mobile telecom system and a key part of the country’s space information infrastructure.
iii. Tiantong-01 was designed by China Academy of Space Technology and its ground service will be operated by China Telecom.
12. IBM and Apple open first global development hub in India
i. IBM in partnership with Apple has launched a new global development hub at Manyata Tech Park, Bengaluru.
ii. The hub mainly aims to help the clients in India complete digital mobility process platform.
iii. IBM is also planning to launch satellite centres in many other countries including China, Romania, and Brazil.
13. Mercedes-Benz India appoints Michael Jopp at top marketing post
i. German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India Limited (MBIL) has announced the appointment of Michael Jopp as vice-president (sales & marketing) with effect from August 1, 2016.
ii. Jopp succeeds Boris Fitz who has completed his tenure of four years in India and will now take on a larger role in Mercedes-Benz Turkey.
iii. Currently, Jopp is responsible for sales performance and sales profitability for Mercedes-Benz Cars in Berlin.
14. Olympics 2016 opens with a glittering ceremony in Rio De Janerio
i. The 31st Summer Olympic Games has opened in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, with a vibrant opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium.
ii. Acting Brazil President Michel Temer declared open the Games.
iii. The theme of Rio De Janerio Olympic is world peace and environment. This time in Rio more than 11,000 athletes from 209 countries are all set to compete, including India, and a refugee Olympic team.
15. IOA announces cash award for medal winning athlete in Rio Olympics
i. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has announced a cash award of 50 lakh rupees for the gold medal winning athlete in the Rio Olympics.
ii. While 30 lakh rupees for silver and 20 lakh rupees for bronze. In addition, the coaches will be awarded an equivalent of 50 % of the amount that the athletes receive.
iii. Apart from IOC, Indian Railways has also announced a cash award of 1 crore rupees for its athlete who wins a gold medal at the Rio Olympics. While silver medallist will get 75 lakh rupees and bronze medal winner 50 lakh rupees. For the athletes who manages a top-8 finish, the reward will be 30 lakh rupees and for mere participation 5 lakh rupees.