1) Which Chinese tech major signed a patent licensing agreement with Nokia?
Chinese tech major Xiaomi on 5 July 2017 signed an agreement for business collaboration and patent licensing with Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia.
As per the agreement, the company will acquire key patent assets from Nokia.
The multi-year patent agreement includes a cross license to each company’s cellular standard essential patents.
Under the agreement, Nokia will provide network infrastructure equipment designed to deliver high capacity, low power requirements for large web providers and data centre operators.
Nokia and Xiaomi will work together on optical transport solutions for data centre interconnect, IP routing based on Nokia’s newly announced ‘FP4’ network processor.
The companies will also explore opportunities for further cooperation in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Xiaomi witnessed a rapid growth in the Indian market and clocked over USD 1 billion in revenue in 2016.
Beyond smartphones, Xiaomi is also a leading Internet of Things (IoT) player.
The Mi Ecosystem IoT platform has crossed 60 million connected devices, and there are now over eight million daily active connected devices on the Mi Ecosystem platform.
2) Which country's PM won the confidence vote by an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly on July 4, 2017?
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe overwhelmingly won the confidence vote in the National Assembly on 4 July 2017.
Philippe won the vote in France’s lower house of parliament by a huge margin, 370-67.
He not only had the backing of President Emmanuel Macron’s party that has a wide majority after a landslide victory last month but he also got votes from centrist allies and some even from the conservative lawmakers.
The country’s national audit office reported last week that France’s budget deficit could reach 3.2 percent above the EU limit for the 10th consecutive year in 2017 if no measures are taken.
To resolve the same, Philippe pledged to bring the country’s budget deficit under the European Union limit of 3 percent this year without raising taxes.
He further pledged to stop increasing the number of state employees and to make the government focus on its main priorities and to stop spending money on policies that don’t deliver results.
The French PM also detailed the government’s agenda in the next months and years, from health to education and job policies.
He notably wants to raise the price of a cigarette pack from current 7 euros ($8) to 10 euros ($11.35).
He has also promised to push for labour reform that aims to boost job creation, as unemployment in France has been hanging around 10 percent for years.
Coping with Migrant Crisis: France's Challenge
- Besides this, the French government will soon be outlining new measures to handle Europe’s migrant crisis.
- It is seeking a balance between helping refugees and controlling illegal immigration.
- The government also wants to reduce the asylum application procedure from 14 months now to 6 months and be able to deport those who are not granted asylum.
- In an effort to fight rising terrorism, the country’s military budget next year will increase spending on defence to 2 percent of GDP by 2025.
- Further, Edouard Philippe said that by choosing to vote for Macron, French voters have showed that they are attached to the European Union and the euro.
- They want a more concrete, less fussy and more protective Europe.
- Macron’s leading competitor Marine Le Pen, who lost her presidential bid to him, on the other hand, said that his economic plans would produce very tough consequences to buying power for French citizens.
3) Cardiff University scientists carried out a most detailed scan of the internal wiring of which body part for the first time in the world?
The world’s most detailed scan of the brain’s internal wiring has been produced by scientists at Cardiff University.
The detailed scan has been carried out at Cardiff, Nottingham, Cambridge and Stockport, as well as at London England and Ontario.
The findings were published on 5 July 2017.
The scan took around 45 minutes and seemed unremarkable.
The scan showed fibres in the white matter called axons.
These are the brain’s wiring which carry billions of electrical signals.
The scan not only showed the direction of the messaging but also the density of the brain’s wiring.
The extraordinary images produced in Cardiff are the result of a special MRI scanner - one of only three in the world.
The MRI machine reveals the fibres that carry all the brain’s thought processes.
This detailed scan of brain’s internal wiring will help increase understanding of a range of neurological disorders and can be used instead of invasive biopsies.
Conventional scans clearly show lesions (areas of damage) in the brain of patients.
But this advanced scan, showing axonal density, can help explain how the lesions affect motor and cognitive pathways that can trigger movement problems and extreme fatigue.
The scanner itself is not especially powerful, but its ability to vary its magnetic field rapidly with position can map the wires or the axons so thinly that it would take 50 of them to match the thickness of a human hair.
The scanner is currently being used for research into many neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy
4) Where was the 10th India Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee Meeting held?
a. New Delhi
ANSWER: New Delhi
The 10TH India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) Meeting was held in New Delhi on 4th and 5th July, 2017.
It was under the co-chairs of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and H.E Eng. Mr. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
On this occasion, the two countries emphasized the need for diversification of bilateral trade and deepening their engagements for greater cooperation in investment sector.
During the TEJC meeting, the two sides also reaffirmed their mutual interest and discussed the roadmap for cooperation in various fields such as Fertilizer Sector, Customs, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, Visa and Consular issues, etc.
The two leaders also inked the revised Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India, and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, aiming at boosting and diversifying bilateral trade relations.
It also aims to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation based on the principle of equity, non-discrimination.
On the sidelines of the TEJC, business federations from both sides also met and discussed the roadmap for promotion of trade and investment through B2B mechanism.
5) Which Israeli flower was named after PM Modi?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Israel which is the first by an Indian prime minister to Israel resulted in the signing of seven agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture.
The other prominent takeaways of the visit are the following
OCI card: Prime Minister Modi has assured faster facilitation of OCI cards for Jewish Citizens of Indian origin in Israel. He also assured that the OCI card will be given even to those people of Indian origin who had served in the Israeli government’s compulsory army service.
Air Connectivity: The launch of a new Air India flight connecting India and Israel was announced, the flight is expected to connect Delhi/Mumbai with Tel Aviv.
Israeli flower named after PM Modi: As a special gesture, a new fast growing Israeli Chrysanthemun flower was named “MODI” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the Indian Premier’s visit to the Danziger flower farm,
As far as strategic partnership goes, India and Israel have announced that they have elevated their ties to a strategic partnership as India has identified Israel as a major development and technological partner.
Both countries have also agreed to combat growing radicalisation and terrorism and expand co-operation in cyber security.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the establishment of an Indian Cultural Centre in Israel to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries.
Israel’s has also voiced its strong support to promote the practice of yoga by designating June 21 as International Yoga Day.
Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund (I4F) The $40 million Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund has been launched as a five-year technology fund with an aim at growing the business relationship between both the countries.
The similar type of fund had boosted Israel’s ties with that of the US in the past 40 years.
6) PM Modi presented 2 sets of replicas of relics from which state to Israel PM Netanyahu?
c. Tamil Nadu
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented Prime Minister of Israel Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu replicas of 2 sets of relics from Kerala that are regarded as key artefacts in the long Jewish history in India.
They comprise two different sets of copper plates that are believed to have been inscribed in 9-10th century C.E.
The first set of copper plates is a cherished relic for the Cochini Jews in India.
It is regarded as a charter describing the grant of hereditary royal privileges and prerogatives by the Hindu King, Cheraman Perumal (often identified as Bhaskara Ravi Varma) to the Jewish leader Joseph Rabban.
According to traditional Jewish accounts, Joseph Rabban was later crowned as the Prince of Shingli, a place in or equated with Cranganore.
Cranganore is where Jews enjoyed religious and cultural autonomy for centuries, before they moved to Cochin and other places in Malabar.
Local Jews once placed in each coffin a handful of earth from Shingli/Cranganore that was remembered as a holy place & a “second Jerusalem”.
The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of the Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry, Kochi.
The second set of copper plates is believed to be the earliest documentation of the history of Jewish trade with India.
These plates describe the grant of land and tax privileges by the local Hindu ruler to a church and oversight of trade in Kollam to West Asian and Indian trading associations.
West Asian association included Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, as also a group of Jews who signed in Judeo-Persian and possibly also in Arabic and Pahlavi (Middle Persian).
The plates bear their signatures that appear to have been cut into the plates by a local workman unfamiliar with the script.
The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala.
In addition, Prime Minister also presented PM Netanyahu a Torah scroll donated by the Paradesi Jewish community in Kerala.
Handwritten over a hundred years ago, the scroll had been dedicated to the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi that had been built in 1568.
The Torah is enclosed on wooden staves in a wooden case adorned with silver sheets and a metal crown covered in gold sheets in floral ornament style, bearing motifs typical of lamps and decorations of south India.
7) What is the student scientist programme launched by CSIR on July 6, 2017 called?
Jigyasa, a student- scientist connect programme was officially launched in the national capital.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has joined hands with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement this programme.
The focus is on connecting school students and scientists so as to extend student’s classroom learning with that of a very well planned research laboratory based learning.
Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a new India and “Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR)” of scientific community and institutions, Jigyayasa was launched on the day which also coincides with the birthday of Shri Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
Mukherjee who is an inspirational figure and a role model for all Indians.
CSIR has been contributing for several decades for socio-economic development in the country.
It has been through development and deployment of knowledge base focused at Technology and Innovation. CSIR has also been playing a key role in human resource development, in particular training of the young researchers through Ph. D. programmes in diverse fields.
The “JIGYASA” would inculcate the culture of inquisitiveness on one hand and scientific temper on the other, amongst the school students and their teachers.
The Programme is expected to connect 1151 Kendriya Vidyalayas with 38 National Laboratories of CSIR targeting 100,000 students and nearly 1000 teachers annually.
The program will also enable the students and teachers to practically live the theoretical concepts taught in science by visiting CSIR laboratories and by participating in mini-science projects.
- Student Residential Programmes;
- Scientists as Teachers and Teachers as Scientists;
- Lab specific activities / Onsite Experiments;
- Visits of Scientists to Schools/Outreach Programmes;
- Science and Maths Clubs;
- Popular Lecture Series/ demonstration programme at Schools;
- Student Apprenticeship Programmes;
- Science Exhibitions;
- Projects of National Children’s Science Congress;
- Teacher Workshops; and
- Tinkering Laboratories
“JIGYASA” is a major initiative taken up by CSIR at national level, during its Platinum Jubilee Celebration Year.
CSIR is widening and deepening its Scientific Social Responsibility further with the programme.
8) Who has been appointed the DGP of HP on July 5, 2017?
a. Somesh Goyal
b. Sanjay Gupta
c. RK Pachnanda
d. Sanjay Singh
ANSWER: Somesh Goyal
Somesh Goyal, a 1984-batch IPS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, was on 5 July 2017 appointed as the Director General of Police (DGP) of Himachal Pradesh.
He succeeds Sanjay Kumar who has now been appointed as Director General of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Goyal was presently serving as the DGP (Prisons) of the state.
Goyal’s main concern as the DGP would be to improve the delivery system, project a people-friendly image of police, root out drug menace and ensure safety of women.
A trained commando, Goyal had worked with the Black Cats (National Security Guard), a trained special protection group responsible for the security of the prime minister.
He has served in Kashmir and West Bengal as DIG and as Inspector General in the Border Security Force. He has also served in the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and provided direction to its operations in Kashmir and Naxal-affected areas such as Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
He has been conferred with various medals for his work including President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Services- the Kathin Sewa Medal, the High Altitude Medal, the Internal Security Medal and the Police Medal for Meritorious Service.
He has also been conferred the Tinka Tinka Award for best prison management for 2016.
Shri Sanjay Kumar, 1985-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Himachal Pradesh Cadre, took charge as the Director General (DG) of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
The post of DG, NDRF fell vacant after incumbent Shri R K Pachnanda was appointed as the Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
Prior to the appointment as DG, NDRF, Shri Sanjay Kumar was serving as Director General of Police in Himachal Pradesh.
9) Which ministry released a booklet highlighting efforts for self reliance in production of arms and ammunitions?
Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley released a booklet highlighting efforts made by Department of Defence Production in the last three years in pursuance of self-reliance in defence sector.
It is a compilation of the achievements of the Department of Defence Production in the field of indigenous production of weapon systems/platforms and policy initiatives undertaken in the past three years.
Ever since the launch of ‘Make in India’ initiative in September 2014, the focus has been to improve the business environment by easing processes to do business.
To encourage participation of Indian public and private sectors in defence production and promote innovation and indigenous development of equipment and weapon platforms has been the aim.
The booklet mentions a number of policy initiatives which have been taken by the Department of Defence Production.
These are relaxation in Foreign Direct Investment policy, providing exchange rate variation protection to domestic industry, level-playing field to private sector in terms of excise duty/custom duty at par with public sector.
It also spoke of liberalising licensing policy and extending the validity of industrial licensing to 15 years, streamlining defence offset guidelines and restoring services as an avenue for discharge of offsets.
It also includes facilitating exports by issuing NOC online, hosting procedure for issue of NOC and list of military stores in public domain besides doing away with end-user certificate.
The focus is also on revising make procedure to promote design and development, promulgating green channel policy, categorising certain Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) products as non-core, aligning payment terms of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), etc.
It also mentions about ‘Make in India’ portal for defence production which is a very industry-friendly website covering all policy procedural issues.
The booklet also mentions that Ordnance Factories and DPSUs, working under the administrative control of Department of Defence Production, have not only enhanced their production from ₹ 44,000/- crore to ₹ 56,000/- crore.
They have also delivered many state-of-the-art platforms to the Armed Forces, including Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’, Surface to Air Missile System ‘ Akash’.
During the last three years, 128 industrial licences have been issued.
Other highlights are, all naval ships and submarines on order are being constructed in Indian shipyards and percentage of capital procurement from Indian vendors has gone up from 47 to 61 in the last three years.
A number of steps are being taken to augment production capacity by DPSUs, such as infrastructure building for Mine Counter Measure Vessel at Goa Shipyard Ltd..
The new helicopter manufacturing facility at Tumakuru, second production line for Dhruv at Kanpur have also been utilised.
Indigenisation of manufacturing capacity for T-90 and PINAKA Rockets and manufacturing facilities for Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) at Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad also took place.
10) India has announced itself free of which of the following diseases?
d. Only b and c
India had reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza at various epicentres in Delhi, Gwalior (MP), Rajpura (Punjab), Hissar (Haryana), Bellary (Karnataka), Allappuzha and Kottayam (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Daman (Daman) and Khordha and Angul (Odisha).
This was during October, 2016 to February, 2017.
All the outbreaks of Avian Influenza (HPAI) mentioned above were notified to OIE and the control and containment operations were carried out as per the Action Plan on Preparedness, Control and Containment of Avian Influenza.
Surveillance was carried out throughout the country and around the areas of the outbreaks since completion of the operation (including culling, disinfection and clean-up).
Surveillance in the states showed no evidence of presence of Avian Influenza Virus.
In view of the above, India has declared itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N8 and H5N1) from 6th June, 2017 and notified the same to OIE.
Avian Influenza: Know More
- Types: Avian A/H5N1 subtype, Canine Equine Swine, A/H1N1 subtype
- Vaccines: 2009 pandemic Pandemrix, Fluzone, Influvac Live attenuated Optaflu
- Treatment: Amantadine, Laninamivir, Oseltamivir, Peramivir, Rimantadine, Umifenovir, Vitamin D Zanamivir
- Pandemics: 2009 swine 1968–1969, Hong Kong 1957, Asian flu 1918
- Outbreaks: 2015 United States, H5N2 outbreak 2014 Kerala, 2008 West Bengal, 2007 Bernard Matthews H5N1, 2007 Australian equine, 2006 H5N1 India, 1976 swine flu.
11) Where was the 4th National Summit on Good Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems held on July 6, 2017?
Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha inaugurated the 4th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems at Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
National Health Policy, 2017 is a landmark step as it commits to comprehensive primary healthcare, effective regulatory framework and best infrastructure.
The Health Ministry also gave away awards to the states on the basis of Health Indicators and Service Delivery.
The award for best performing States in the category of indoor services (based on change of IPD/1000 population from 2015-16 to 2016-17-HMIS) was given to Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Daman and Diu got the award among the Union Territories (UTs).
For the best out-patient services, the award was given to Gujarat, Punjab and Jharkhand whereas Dadra and Nagar Haveli got the award amongst the Union Territories.
For, average out of pocket expenditure per delivery in public health facility, the award was given to Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
Among the UTs, the award was given to Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The award for decline in IMR was given to Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal among the bigger states, Manipur received it amongst the smaller states and Puducherry amongst the UTs.
Best Performance in Revised National TB Control Programme was given to Assam and Himachal Pradesh.
12) When are traders exempt from GST registration?
a. When annual turnover is more than 20 lakhs and does not involve interstate supply
b. When annual turnover is less than 20 lakhs and does not involve interstate supply
c. When annual turnover is more than 15 lakhs and does involve interstate supply
d. When annual turnover is more than 13 lakhs and does involve interstate supply
ANSWER: When annual turnover is less than 20 lakhs and does not involve interstate supply
The government on July 6, 2017 conducted the first GST "masterclass" for all stakeholders including citizens.
These "masterclasses" are in the form of hour-long programs and will be held for six days.
Here are key takeaways from the first GST masterclass:
1) Registration on GST portal:
The government clarified that it is mandatory for the traders and dealers to complete the Part-B of their GST registration within the period of 90 days.
If an individual is not hands-on with online registration, then she/he can visit any excise, VAT or Service Tax office of state and central government where officials will get the job done.
There is no charge involved in this process.
Responding to a query on problems regarding registration of names bearing special characters (e.g. D'Souza or L&T), the government said that the software of the GST portal has been fixed to overcome the hiccup.
2) Updating details after registration:
The GST masterclass also discussed the updation of details of a business in the GST portal.
The government said that for minor details like bank account number, phone number, e-mail ID, updation can be done by the trader herself/ himself by visiting the GST registration portal.
However, modification like change in legal name of business, address of place of business, addition or deletion of partners or directors etc. can be done only by tax officials.
3) Exemption on turnover of INR 20 lakh
Trader class by now are well-versed with the fact that they are exempt from GST registration if their annual turnover is less than Rs 20 lakh.
However, the GST Council officials clarified that if a business involves inter-state supply, then GST registration is mandatory even if the turnover is below the threshold.
However, it was pointed out that if a business has a turnover below INR 20 lakh currently and happens to cross the threshold over time, then it needs to get itself registered within 30 days of it.
4) Items outside GST purview:
The Revenue Secretary on Wednesday reiterated the items which are outside the ambit of GST.
Following is the list of such products and the competent authority which can charge tax on them:
- 5 petroleum commodities- VAT can be levied by state government while excise duty by the centre government
- Stamp duty and registration charges- By state government
- Vehicle Tax- By state government
- Electricity Duty- By state government
- Potable alcohol- By state government
- Entertainment Tax- By state government in order to benefit local bodies
- The provisional ID number received at the time of registration will be the same as the ID number received at the completion of registration.
- All registered dealers will have to furnish their GSTN registration numbers on signboards.
- In case, a dealer is facing problems in uploading Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), he/she can also opt to authenticate using an OTP (One Time Password) sent to his/her mobile number and e-mail ID.