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Latest and Top Ten National and International News – 20 July 2018

In 2nd notice to already under-fire WhatsApp, Govt warns of legal action if it fails to check fake news

RBI to issue new Rs 100 notes in lavender color, motif of ‘Rani ki vav’ & existing series to still be valid

Govt: 1,10,333 cases of rape in India between 2014-16, highest 38,947 cases in 2016

Power Min: 323.41 GW electricity supplied against 325.42GWdemand in this Qrtr, deficit of 0.6%

Southwest monsoon has gained strong momentum with 20% above normal rains in the past 1 week

11,942 admission to IITs, 16% (1841) female candidates, IIT-Kanpur released extended merit list

Crackdown: LS passes Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2013bill to allow confiscation of fugitives’ assets

NGT: Ganga cleanliness situation extraordinarily bad, hardly anything effective done, raps Clean Ganga

Rain in Kerala claims 28 lives over 10 days, Nightmare for people in Kottayam & Alappuzha

Study: Mediterranean diet can boost academic performance in teens, Study on 269 adolescents

Study: Want to lose weight in 1 week? Drink barley water to get flat tummy naturally

Study: CT scan may help doctors diagnose a problem, but can also up brain tumor risk

SIT on black money suggests Rs 1Cr cap on cash holdings, above that found in seizure should go to Govt

India could lose trade dispute with US at WTO over subsidizing exports as income levels above threshold

India, US to Hold First ‘2+2 Dialogue’ On Sep 6 at New Delhi to discuss Security/Defence Cooperation

Govt has set ambitious target of 30BN digital transactions to be accomplished within 2018

Clumsy smartphone user? Corning’s new Gorilla Glass 6 survive 15 drops, 2 times better than Gorilla

Trai overhauls rules on pesky calls, spam messages; spells out obligation of telcos, Fine from 1K to 50Lac

Samsung breathes down Xiaomi’s neck in smartphone race for April-June, together hold 60% Mrkt

Re suffers 43p knock to end at life-time low of 69.05 against US $, biggest single day fall since May 29

Sensex, Nifty end lower in cautious trade ahead of no-confidence motion, Investor not for Fresh bets

Amazon valuation cross $900BN, 1st time ever on Prime Day sale success, Sold $100MN worth products

UK: Two Indian-origin candidates Kulveer Ranger & Ruby McGregor join race for London Mayor

UK: Designer fashion Burberry burn £28MN worth outfit/year to stop “wrong people” from buying them

China Govt to Citizens: Money, medicines, increased maternity leave if you make more babies

‘Collapse explosion’ at Kilauea volcano destroys Hawaii structures, equal to 5.3magnitude earthquake

US Congressman Reichert: Retaliatory tariffs from India, China hurt US, adverse impact on Agri products

New Global Slavery Report: N Korea Has More Than 2.6MN ‘Modern Slaves’ – 1 out of 10 is slave

Venezuela started refining gold in Turkey after a new wave of international sanctions were placed

US: In attempt to prevent killer robots from destroying Earth, scientists pledge not to manufacture them

Trump: Tiny Balkan nation Montenegro With 2,000-Strong Army Can Start World War III

Putin accuse powerful forces in US’ of undermining Trump meet, even after 2 leaders look to meet again

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra bags gold at Sotteville Athletics meet, covered distance of 85.17Mtrs

Today’s Word – *Rachi* – Spine or axis of a feather; the spinal cord.

Soon, On -Board Shopping On Trains​

The Indian Railways have come up with interesting news for you. If you are a shopaholic, now you can shop in trains. The Mumbai division which comes under Central Railway zone of Indian Railways has geared up for the on-board shopping service for passengers who travel long distance which is similar to shopping in planes. The passengers are allowed to choose a selection of consumer durables. The Mumbai Mirror report has mentioned three premium trains for this facility – the Konark Express train, the Chennai Express train and the Ernakulam-Hazarat Nizamuddin Duronto Express train. The facility is only for passengers who travel in AC Coaches of these trains.

The on-board shopping facility will include small gadgets like earphones, beauty and cosmetic products among other items. A report from Central Railway reveals that a tender would be floated in a couple of days. The railway official said that the passengers can purchase products either by cash or through online transfer.

The on-board shopping service will be launched on a trial basis. The plan will be extended to other trains if the shopping service was successful in the three premium trains. A portable folding trolley will be used for the on-board shopping so that other commuters are not inconvenienced.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said that Indian Railways has decided to renovate 90 railway stations with world class transit hubs. These stations will include CCTV cameras, LED lights, Wifi facility etc. According to the National transporter’s redevelopement plan, 600 major railway stations will be renovated.

Cristiano Ronaldo Leaves a Tip of 16 Lakhs to the Hotel Staff! You Won’t Guess the Reason

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who went to Greece for a holiday with family and friends after Portugal exited the 2018 FIFA World Cup, reportedly left a tip of around ?16 lakh for the staff of a luxury resort. The forward met with Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli at the resort over his four-year deal. Juventus signed Ronaldo for £99 million.

The 33-year-old, who is third on the list of highest-paid sportspersons, spent the time off football at a luxury resort in Greece. After being mighty impressed with the staff’s service at the resort in the Peloponnese region, Ronaldo left them a huge cheque worth around Rs 16 lakh (£17,850), according to The Sun.

In Instagram photos, Ronaldo can be seen relaxing at the stunning resort along with wife, son, and mother among others. Notably, Ronaldo completed a €100m move from Real Madrid to the Turin-based club on July 10. He penned a four-year deal with Juventus where he will be earning around €30m annually.

The Portugal captain, who lit up the World Cup with a stunning hat-trick against Spain in their opening tie, was unveiled at Juventus on Monday, July 16.

Setting up of Ten Indigenous Nuclear Power Reactors

The Government in June, 2017 accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for setting up ten indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) of 700 MW each in fleet mode. These reactors of indigenous technology are being set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a wholly owned PSU of Government of India under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

These reactors are proposed to be set up at the following locations:

            Location & State Project Capacity(MW)
Chutka, Madhya Pradesh Chutka -1&2 2 X 700
Kaiga, Karnataka Kaiga – 5&6 2 X 700
Mahi Banswara, Rajasthan Mahi Banswara – 1&2 2 X 700
Gorakhpur,  Haryana GHAVP – 3&4 2 X 700
Mahi Banswara, Rajasthan Mahi Banswara – 3&4 2 X 700


Pre-project activities comprising of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement, Environmental Clearance, etc are in progress at various stages at these sites. Land is available at Kaiga and Gorakhpur sites and land acquisition is at an advanced stage at Chutka and Mahi Banswara sites. Environmental Clearance is accorded for Chutka 1&2 and GHAVP 3&4 projects. For other sites, the process of Environmental Clearance is in various stages. In addition, procurement of long manufacturing cycle equipment, human resource planning etc. have been initiated.

With the progressive completion of projects under construction (including 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), being implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited [BHAVINI] and projects sanctioned (including these ten PHWRs), the total nuclear power capacity will reach 22480 MW by the year 2031.

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in  Rajya Sabha today.


NMCG Organises “Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan” in Five Ganga Basin States Intervention in Ganga a Major Components of Namami Gange Programme

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is organising “Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan” with 9th July to 15th July 2018 being observed as ‘Shubharambh Saptah’ in five main stem Ganga basin states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. State Forest Departments of these states have been made the nodal agencies for the smooth and effective execution of the campaign. The participation from Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), Ganga Vichar Manch (GVM), NGOs and educational institutions has been encouraging. The involvement of District Ganga Committees, of which District Magistrates are the Chairpersons, has given strength to the programme. Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) have been designated as the district level Nodal Officers and Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) at the State level for organizing the events.

The campaign, which has been initiated as part of the Forest Interventions in Ganga (FIG) component of Namami Gange programme, is significant as it  aims to bring greater awareness among people and other stakeholders regarding the importance of afforestation for the task of Ganga Rejuvenation. A number of schools, colleges and departments have been requested to “Adopt a Plant” for turning this campaign into a people’s movement. Various seminars, workshops, lectures, drawing and painting competitions etc. are being organised.

Plantation activities are being carried out with great enthusiasm all along the banks of the River Ganga with participation of local people. Formal events to mark the campaign have been held at over 100 locations. In Uttar Pradesh, the programme is dovetailed with the Ganga Haritima Abhiyan. Some of the plants which are being sown during the campaign are Kanji, Sheesham, Farmis, Jamun, Arjun, Gutal, Siras, Chhitvan, Mango, Neem, Semal, Jungal Jalebi, Gulmohar, Kadam, Sagwan, Saal, Mahogni, Ber, Bamboo, Karaonda, Ashwagandha, Curry Patta, Jathrofa, Beheda, Dhatura, Sarpgandha etc.

Getting Forest Research Institute (FRI) on board

In order to implement the afforestation project in a scientific manner, Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun was assigned the project to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the basis of which the State Forest Departments would carry out their plantation activities.  In the DPR a rivers cape covering an area of 83,946 km2 (1,13,751 hectare) has been delineated along the five main stem Ganga basin states for afforestation over a period of 5 years at a cost of Rs. 2293.73 crore.

The FRI report provides a multi-disciplinary approach with potential plantation and treatment models. Considering the type of natural ecosystem, identification of native vegetation, soil conditions and agro-climatic zones, potential models of various types have been developed. The implementation plan aims to contribute towards the Clean Ganga Mission, particularly Aviral Dhara and Nirmal Dhara besides maintenance of the ecological and geological integrities, by improving the base flow and filtration of the ground water pollution.

Why is Afforestation in Ganga Basin important?

Forests cause higher rainfall and raise water level in the rivers. Through their foliage, craggy bark and abundant leaf litter, trees and forests decrease the speed of water dispersion and favour slow but greater infiltration of rainwater to ensure smooth functioning of the hydrological cycle. Moreover, presence of healthy forest cover along the river provides self-cleaning ability to the river. Thus, afforestation and augmentation of existing forest along the Ganga holds the promise to strengthen the riparian ecosystem thereby contributing to the overarching cause of Ganga Rejuvenation.