All India Radio News summary: 31 AUGUST 2017

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All India Radio News summary: 31 AUGUST 2017


  1. The country’s GDP growth slowed to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent

The country’s GDP growth slowed to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal.

  • GDP had expanded 6.1 percent in fourth quarter of the previous fiscal, and 7.9 per cent in the first quarter of the previous fiscal.
  • According to official data, during the April to June 2017 quarter growth in the manufacturing stood at 1.2 per cent, while the agricultural sector grew 2.3 percent.
  • Economic activities that saw growth of over 7 per cent in the first quarter are trade, hotels, transport and communication, among others.
  • The slower growth is due to the decline in inventories ahead of the rollout of GST. Now inventories have returned to normal levels, which will help revive economic growth in coming months.
  • Finance Minister has said, the 5.7 percent GDP growth rate in first quarter of this fiscal is a matter of concern and it throws up challenge to the economy.
  • The rate has come down predominantly due to pre- GST effect as manufacturers were focusing more on clearing the existing stock.
  • The service sector and investment have improved in this quarter but down trend in manufacturing essentially is a GST impact.

 

  1. Launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1H

 

Background:

The Indian Space Research Organization ISRO geared up for the launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1H today by PSLV C39. It is expected to insert the satellite in a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit at a height of about 508 kilometres.

The payload IRNSS-1H is part of the satellite constellation meant for the indigenous navigation system called ‘NavIC.’ It is the eighth satellite in the series.

The NavIC system

  • It works on the lines of the GPS, with a seven-satellite constellation.
  • It has a footprint over entire Indian terrain and about 1500 kilometers beyond her borders in all directions.
  • All seven satellites have been launched by India already.
  • NavIC system helps logistics operators to plan and monitor their fleet movement on the road and on the sea.
  • It helps the public to locate precisely the addresses they require.
  • Telecom and power grid operations can also benefit immensely from the data of the NavIC system.
  • Accurate survey of territories will be another area where it will provide valuable contributions. 

 

The PSLV-C39 has failed in its mission today

The PSLV-C39 has FAILED in its mission today, as its heat shield failed to separate, preventing the satellite IRNSS-1H to reach its designated orbit.

  • It was planned to insert the new navigation satellite IRNSS-1H today in a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit to replace the ailing IRNSS-1A in space.  
  • As per the original plan, the rocket PSLV C39 had lifted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 7 pm today, with the IRNSS-1H on board.
  • Apart from the heat shield separation rest of the actives have gone smoothly but in terms of the mission it is unsuccessful

PSLV rocket

The PSLV rocket is normally known for its reliability. But the failure today has come as a blot on its impressive record so far. The PSLV has been serving as a trusted work-horse so far, except its first ever flight. It has been used for launching the record 104 satellites recently and also for the prestigious space science missions like Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan-I.

 

  1. India and Switzerland Relationship

 

India and Switzerland have signed two MoUs in the field of Railways. The pacts were inked after delegation level talks between Prime Minister and visiting President of Swiss Confederation in New Delhi.

  • Foreign Direct Investment is crucial for economic relations between New Delhi and Bern.
  • Both leaders agreed to enhance the business to business cooperation.
  • Talks are on to have a new bilateral investment treaty in this connection to boost financial relations.
  • Swiss companies have opportunities to be a partner in India’s growth and development.  Both leaders noted that India and Switzerland had very good cooperation on combating tax evasion and black money.  
  • Transparency in financial transactions is a matter of concern worldwide.
  • Terming climate change as a global challenge, India and Switzerland have agreed to work together on the need to implement Paris climate accord.
  • Switzerland has been a continuous supporter of India’s bid for NSG membership. The membership in the elite nuclear group will help in meeting India’s growing clean energy needs.
  • Bern has also supported India’s membership in Missile Technology Control Regime.
  • Reforms taken by India are good base for expanding cooperation in several areas.
  • Switzerland has one of the strongest laws against money laundering.

 

  1. India Summit 2017 – Shaping future growth

 

India Summit 2017 will examine the public- and private-sector initiatives that will determine the trajectory of India’s economy. Government ministers, leaders of local and multinational companies, and the foremost experts on India and the global economy will debate what India must do to overcome current challenges and meet its lofty aims for future prosperity.

 

  • Union Finance Minister has said fallout of demonetisation was on predicted lines and the economy will benefit in medium and long term.
  • Addressing the inaugural session of ‘India Summit’ in New Delhi today, FM said that
    • Money deposited in that period in banks does not mean that all of it is legitimate.
    • Demonetisation’s prediction was that more and more people would come under the tax net and it will also help in increased direct tax collection.
    • Demonetisation was widely politically accepted and it helped in bringing transparency to the system.
    • In the third quarter when demonetisation was implemented there was no impact on GDP, however, the fourth quarter was slightly affected.
    • On the Goods and Services Tax (GST), it is too early to estimate the gains from it but they would be significant.
    • GST will have a multiplier effect on direct tax a little later.
    • Manufacturing may have suffered as people were clearing their stock due to GST.
    • One GST rate for such a highly disparate population would not be equitable and the government expects two standard GST rates converging into one in the future.
    • GST Council on appropriate time, they will take a decision with regard to convergence of some of the rates which the feel more confident that the inflationary impact of that would be less.
    • On Index of Industrial Production, it has not been very encouraging in the past few months.
    • Expressed hope that that Prevention of Corruption Act will be ratified by the parliament soon
    • The government has now started opening up the defence sector for private players and it will help boost defence manufacturing in India.

 

  1. UIDAI said, Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure
  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has rejected reports that an RTI application has revealed that the Aadhaar contract gave foreign firms access to classified personal data such as fingerprints and iris scan information.
  • UIDAI said,
    • Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure, and has a robust security which cannot be compromised.
    • The servers have no linkages to the outside world through the Internet or any other means, including laptops and pen drives.

 

  1. 10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue

India and the European Union (EU) have agreed to strengthen co-operation between their security and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism and check terror financing.

  • During the 10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue in New Delhi, the two sides deliberated extensively on the challenges posed by radicalisation and violent extremism.
  • India and EU underscored the need for deepening cooperation to fight the menace in a long term, sustained and comprehensive manner.
  • The two sides exchanged views and assessments on prevailing terrorist threats in their respective regions including state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism in the Afghan-Pakistan region.
  • Both also agreed to identify relevant training programmes for capacity building of individuals on both sides working to counter terrorism.

 

  1. Government has extended OBC creamy layer criteria to PSUs.

Government has extended OBC creamy layer criteria to PSUs. The Cabinet has approved norms for establishing equivalence of posts in CPSUs, banks and insurance institutions with posts in government for claiming benefit of OBC reservation. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister. The move will ensure that the children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions can get the benefit of OBC reservation at par with children of people serving in lower categories in government.

  1. US is looking to the Pakistani government to take decisive action against militant groups

The United States today said it is vital that Pakistan act against terrorist sanctuaries. US is looking to the Pakistani government to take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a threat to the region. Washington is ready to work with Islamabad to help them protect themselves against these terrorist organisations.

  • Pakistan National Assembly yesterday passed a resolution opposing US President’s move to give more space to India in Afghanistan in his new strategy for the war-torn country.
  • Pakistan has accused the US of making unjustified allegations against it and cancelled at least three senior level meetings with current US administration officials.

 

  1. Sri Lankan government has ordered  release of 76 Indian fishermen

The Sri Lankan government has ordered release of 76 Indian fishermen in its custody while another four have been arrested on charges of poaching in their waters.

  • The release of fishermen came as a goodwill gesture before the meeting of Joint Working Group on Fisheries proposed to be held in New Delhi next month.
  • The fishermen will be handed over to Indian consulate in Jaffna and repatriation to India may take a few days.
  • Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Navy has arrested four Indian fishermen, along with a boat, on charges of poaching near Delft island.