- Uttarakhand industries seek tax exemption from state.
- With the Centre announcing extension in tax exemption, Uttarakhand industries have sought for a similar gesture from the state government.
- Manufacturers said that only 20% state industries will benefit from the Centre’s scheme of Direct Benefit Transfer as excise duty exemptions in Uttarakhand will expire in 2020.
- Industrials said the exemption will boost the manufacturers operating under State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Ltd. (SIDCUL), but it will be more beneficial for north-eastern states where industrial zones have started operating this year.
- India and Japan work on developing SEZs in Africa
- Japan and India have finalised a blueprint for developing Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in African countries, an attempt aimed at countering the expanding Chinese footprint in the continent.
- The first SEZ that Indian companies will take part in will come up around Mombasa port in Kenya, which is being developed with Japanese assistance.
- Mombasa port is the gateway to the east African market where Indian firms have considerable influence and presence.
- India and Japan are warming up to Africa amid China’s rapidly expanding economic and strategic influence in the continent.
- China’s new military base in Djibouti — the first in the region — has raised concerns as it points to China’s strategic intent in the continent.
- China to relaunch one of the world’s fastest bullet trains
- China is relaunching one of the world’s fastest bullet trains, capable of running at350 kilometers (217 miles) per hour.
- The trains will service the route from Beijing to Shanghai starting next month, making the 1,250-kilometer (777-mile) journey in just 4 hours, 30 minutes. Other routes are being added.
- It has spent an estimated $360 billion on high-speed rail, building by far the largest network in the world.
- Government plans to reduce the number of PSU banks to 10-15.
- India is looking to reduce the number of state-run banks to 10 to 15, more than what was envisaged earlier, through a series of mergers and acquisitions so that none of the banks become too big to fail, said Sanjeev Sanyal, principal economic adviser at the finance ministry.
- The consolidation of the struggling state-run banks, which have about a 70% market share and account for more than 80% of the bad loans in the Indian banking system, is aimed at building scale and bolstering their risk-taking ability. The government hopes that this, along with measures such as capital infusions in weak banks, will trigger a revival.
- Under the Indradhanush scheme introduced in 2015, the government had agreed to infuse ₹70,000 crore in state-run lenders over four years. They were to receive ₹10,000 crore each in 2017-18 and the following year. The government has so far proposed to infuse ₹8,586 crore in 10 public sector banks this year, subject to the recipient banks meeting stringent requirements for improving their health.
- India’s first calf born to surrogate cow in Pune
- India’s first calf delivered by a surrogate or recipient cow through In Vitro Fertilisation(IVF) technology carried out in a mobile laboratory in Pune.
- This is for first time IVF procedure was successfully implemented at the farm level with the help of mobile laboratory.
- The purpose of producing surrogate calf was to protect indigenous cow breeds in its original form which have been destroyed due to cross-breeding.
Gk bit – In vitro fertilisation
- In vitro fertilisation(or fertilization; IVF) is a process of fertilisationwhere an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (“in glass”). The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a liquid in a laboratory. The fertilised egg (zygote) undergoes embryo culture for 2–6 days, and is then transferred to the same or another woman’s uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.
- The first successful birth of a child after IVF treatment, Louise Brown, occurred in 1978.
- India’s first test tube baby was Kanupriya Agarwal.
- IIT entrance exam to go completely online from 2018.
- The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will go completely online from 2018.
- In a statement, IIT-Madras Director and JAB Chairman Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi decided that the JEE Advanced will be conducted in online mode from 2018 onwards.
- Union Human Resource Development Ministry had earlier introduced the option of taking the JEE-Mains online.
- The JEE-Mains is the entrance examination for admission to engineering courses offered across the country and a qualifying exam for JEE-Advanced which is required for admission to the prestigious IITs and NITs.
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