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1) 2nd Meeting of NITI Forum for North East Held in Guwahati
•The second meeting of the NITI Forum for the North East is being held in Guwahati, Assam. Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Dr Jitendra Singh and Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar attended the meeting.
•NITI Forum for North East was constituted this year to periodically review the development status in the region. The members of the forum include Secretaries of various central ministries, Chief Secretaries of all eight North-eastern states, senior government officials and experts from various fields.
2) Delhi Government Launches Free Pilgrimage Scheme For Senior Citizens
•Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ which offers free travel packages for senior citizens from Delhi to five religious circuits. 1,100 senior citizens from every constituency of Delhi will be able to avail this facility at one go.
•Under this free pilgrimage scheme, a Delhi resident above 60 years will be eligible to take free pilgrimage along with his or her spouse.
3) Gangotri, Yamunotri Included Under PRASAD Scheme
•The Centre included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under a central scheme to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country, a tourism ministry statement stated.
•With the new additions, the number of sites under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) launched by the ministry in 2014-15 has now become 41 in 25 states.
4) PEETHA Scheme Launched In Odisha To Reinforce Brand Naveen
•IN a move to reinforce brand Naveen and give it a national perspective after the success of the Hockey Men’s World Cup, Odisha Government launched yet another initiative, Peoples Empowerment – Enabling Transparency and Accountability of Odisha Initiatives (PEETHA).
•The Scheme is aimed at creating awareness about various schemes and improving transparency in the distribution of individual and social benefits. This is part of the 3T initiative of Technology, Transparency and Team Work model. The PEETHA is a sub-scheme of the Odisha government’s flagship Ama Gaon Ama Bikas Yojana.
5) Government Sanctions 254 Projects Under National Mission for Clean Ganga
•The government has sanctioned 254 projects worth over 24 thousand crore rupeesunder National Mission for Clean Ganga. As per Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari, around five thousand crore rupees have been spent in the last four years under it.
•The Announcement was made at the India Water Impact Summit 2018 in New Delhi. Mr Gadkari informed that his Ministry has taken up construction of 197 ghats in five states, including Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
6) UAE Passport Ranked Most Powerful Globally: Arton Capital
•The UAE now has the world’s most powerful passport, achieving the top ranking in an achievement hailed as a tribute to the legacy of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed,and the country’s diplomacy. The number 1 spot in the global Passport Index was achieved just as the UAE celebrates it 47th National Day and its achievements since 1971.
•The index, compiled by Arton Capital, ranks national passports based on the number of countries a holder can enter without a visa or by obtaining one on arrival. India was ranked 140th in the list. Top 3 countries on INDIVIDUAL PASSPORT POWER RANK are:
1. The UAE
7) India Signs An Agreement With Peru For Co-operation In Customs Matters
•India signed an agreement with Peru for co-operation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters. It provides a legal framework for the sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries.
•The agreement will also help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offenses. According to the Finance Ministry, the agreement signed in New Delhi is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure the efficient clearance of goods traded between the two sides.
8) World’s 1st 3D-Printed Functional e-Bike Made In Germany
•German firm BigRep claims it has produced the world’s first fully functioning e-motorbike NERA using a 3D printer. According to the company, NERA has groundbreaking features like airless tires, embedded electronics, and forkless steering.
•The bike was conceptualized and developed in 12 weeks and includes 15 parts, which are all 3D printed except its motor and battery. The name is derived from the slogan “New Era”.
9) Fitch Cuts India’s Growth Forecast To 7.2% In FY19
•Fitch Ratings revised downwards India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.2% for current fiscal citing higher financing cost and reduced credit availability.
•In its Global Economic Outlook, Fitch projected that for 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, India’s GDP growth will be 7% and 7.1% respectively. Fitch had in June projected India to grow at 7.4% in current fiscal and 7.5% in 2019-20.
10) Paisabazaar.com Launches India’s First ‘Chance of Approval’ Feature
•Paisabazaar.com, India’s largest online marketplace for financial products has launched an industry-first feature that will help loan applicants choose their most-suited lender on its platform. Named ‘Chance of Approval’, this advanced predictive algorithm has been created by Paisabazaar.com by using the last four years of lending data.
•While this is the first such initiative in India, globally a few leading players, like Credit Karma in the US, have developed similar features to improve the acceptance rate on their platforms.
11) Eliud Kipchoge And Caterine Ibarguen Named IAAF Athletes Of The Year
•Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian long and triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen have been named male and female world athletes of the year.The pair were honoured by the IAAF ( The International Association of Athletics Federations ) at a ceremony in Monaco. Kipchoge, 34, won the London Marathon and set a world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin.
•Ibarguen, also 34, claimed triple and long jump honours in the Central American and Caribbean Games, the Continental Cup and the Diamond League finals. Sweden’s 19-year-old pole vaulter Armand Duplantis won the men’s rising star award while the women’s award went to American 400m runner Sydney McLaughlin.