- Assam lacks ambulances
- Assam does not have a single functional advanced life-saving ambulance (ALS) despite receiving approval for 280 such ambulances from the Centre, a Union health and family welfare ministry report said.
- The report of the 11th Commission Review Mission was based on field visits to Assam between November 3 and 10 in 2017 by senior officials of the ministry, public health experts from civil society and academic institutes.
- The report, however, praised the state for removing the shortfall of primary health centres. “Against a shortfall of 216 pre-National Health Mission (NHM), the state has now 1,014 functional PHCs.
· NASA set to launch Ice, Cloud Land Elevation satellite to track earth’s melting ice
- The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (icesat-2)will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width of a pencil, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.
- Icesat-2 which is scheduled to be launched on September 12 represents a major technological leap in our ability to measure changes in ice height.
· Germany to give Rs 990 crore loan for Clean Ganga Mission
- In an effort to clean the river Ganga, Germany is providing a soft loan of euro 120 million(approx. Rs 990 crore) to India to strengthen sewage water treatment infrastructure in
- The purpose of the project ‘Clean Ganga Mission’ is to reduce the inflow of untreated wastewater in River Ganga and, thus, to improve the water quality of the river.
- The initiative also includes construction of 13 sewage pumping stations.
· Argentina hikes interest rate to 60%, highest in the world
- Due to economic crisis, Argentina’s central bank raised its benchmark interest by 15 percentage points to 60%, the highest in the world.
- The Argentine peso is down 50% this year against the dollar and the country’s inflation is running at over 30%.
- Argentina President Mauricio Macrihas asked for an early release of a $50-billion loan from the IMF (International Monetary Fund).
- PM to launch India Post Payments Bank
- The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will launch the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on September 1st, 2018.
- On the day of the launch, IPPB will have 650 Branches and 3250 Access Points spread across the country. Simultaneous launch events will be held at these branches and access points.
- All the 1.55 lakh Post Offices in the country will be linked to the IPPB system by December 31, 2018.
Gk bit – Post payment bank
- India Post Payments Bank is the sixth payments bank to commence operations in the country. The others in the space are two-year-old Airtel Payments Bank, Paytm Payments Bank and Fino Payments Bank – both launched last summer – and recent-entrants Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank and Jio Payments Bank.
- On the day of the launch, IPPB had 650 branches and 3,250 access points, across the country. The plan is to link all the 1.55 lakh post offices to these branches by the end of 2018.
- The main difference between payments banks and traditional banks is that the former can only receive deposits and remittances. Payments banks cannot offer any financial products, say credit cards, of their own. They have to tie-up with other financial services providers to offer third-party products like loans and insurance to their customers. For instance, India Post Payments Bank has teamed up with financial services providers like Punjab National Bank and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance for this purpose.
- Payments banks can only accept deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh per customer in a savings/current account.
- 2 percent Growth of GDP in real terms in Q1 of 2018-19
- The Central Statistics Office has released the estimates of GDP for the first quarter (Q1) of 2018-19.
- In line with momentum built in the economy, the growth of GDP in real terms in Q1 of 2018-19 is 8.2 per cent, reinforcing the high growth of 7.7 per cent recorded in last quarter of 2017-18.
- This growth is broad-based and has been driven by 8.4 per cent growth in consumption expenditure and 10.0 per cent growth in fixed investment.
- The latter development is particularly encouraging as it has come about over an impressive growth of 14.4 per cent in Q4 of 2017-18 and augurs well for future growth.
· HRD Ministry introduced ‘Atal ranking’ for higher education institutions
- The Human Resource Development Ministry launched the ‘Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements’ (ARIIA) to promote innovation and research in higher education.
- Named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, ARIIA will rank educational institutions for innovation output based on all major indicators and parameters used globally.
· India to soon have London-like ‘one-nation-one-card’ policy for transport
- India will shortly unveil a ‘One Nation-One Card Policy’ for public transport that will entail connectivity between various modes of transport.
- For instance in London, one can buy one card (Oyster card) and can travel on the bus, metro and even suburban trains using that card.
- The objective of the strategy is to plan for the citizens of India first, rather than focussing on vehicles alone, by providing sustainable mobility and accessibility by switching to a cleaner mode of transportation such as electric, ethanol, methanol, CNG, LNG and hydrogen fuel cells
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