- GI logo, tagline launched
- Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu launched a logo and tagline for Geographical Indications (GI) to increase awareness about intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the country.
- A GI product is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
- Darjeeling Tea, Tirupati Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange and Kashmir Pashmina are among the registered GIs in India.
- It ensures exclusivity.
- It covered as the element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property.
- GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
- GI tag in India is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods Registration and Protection Act), 1999.
- This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.
Source- The Hindu
- Government launched the scheme “Seva Bhoj Yojna”
- The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has launched the new scheme “Seva Bhoj Yojna”.
- The scheme envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) so as to lessen the financial burden of such as Religious/ Charitable Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
- Religious/ Charitable Institution shall first register with Darpan Portal of NITI Aayog and get Unique ID generated by Darpan Portal.
- Cabinet approves the policy framework for the exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons
- The Union cabinet approved a policy framework for exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons, a change that would allow private companies to exploit unconventional hydrocarbons including shale gas and Coal Bed Methane (CBM) from their existing blocks.
- Prior to the new policy, field operators were not allowed to explore and exploit CBM, shale gas and other unconventional hydrocarbons from the allotted licensed area.
- Similarly, contractors with CBM fields were not allowed to exploit any other hydrocarbons except CBM.
- An additional 10 Percent profit petroleum will be levied for new CBM discoveries and National Oil Companies (NOCs) will be allowed to explore and exploit unconventional hydrocarbons under the existing fiscal and contractual terms of exploration or lease license.
- India currently has around 100-200 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of shale gas reserves in five sedimentary basins and there is a strong possibility of shale reserves in Cambay basin, Krishna-Godavari Basin and Cauvery basin among others.
Source- The Hindu
- Union Cabinet approves the extension of CFS for infrastructure projects abroad.
- The Union Cabinet has approved the first extension of Concessional Financing Scheme(CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad for another five years from 2018 to 2023.
- The scheme envisages the government to provide the counter-guarantee and interest equalisation of 2 Percent to EXIM Bank to offer concessional finance to any foreign government or foreign government-owned or controlled entity, if any Indian entity, succeeds in getting a contract for the execution of a project.
- Prior to the introduction of CFS, Indian entities were not able to bid for large projects abroad since the cost of financing was very high for them and bidders from other countries such as China, Japan, Europe and US were able to provide credit at superior terms, i.e., lower interest rate and longer tenures which works to the advantage of bidders from those countries.
- Under this Scheme, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) selects the specific projects keeping in view the strategic interest of India and sends the same to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
- Lok Sabha passed the bill for speedy disposal of commercial disputes.
- A bill to amend the law for the speedy disposal of commercial disputes and seeking to reduce the pecuniary jurisdiction of commercial courts from Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 lakh was passed by the Lok Sabha.
- The bill allows state governments to establish commercial courts at the district level, even in territories where high courts have ordinary original civil jurisdiction.
- It will provide an opportunity to the parties to resolve commercial disputes outside the ambit of courts through authorities constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act.
- The law will be given prospective effect so that the authority of the judicial forum at present adjudicating the commercial disputes is not affected.
Source –Economic Times
- Army’s Smerch systems to roll on Indian wheels
- For the first time, an Indian vehicle manufacturer “Ashok Leyland” will deliver heavy duty, high mobility vehicles for the Army’s Russian-built Smerch Multi-Barrel Rocket launchers (MBRL) as well to carry strategic missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Smerch MBRL – Multiple Barrel Rocket Launchers
- Smerch is designed to defeat soft and hard-skinned targets, artillery and missile systems.
- It has an automatic rocket range of 90km.
- Developed by Russia in the early 1980s and entered service with the Russian Army in 1988.
- India placed an order in 2005 for 38 systems and deliveries began in May 2007.
Source – The Hindu
- China launches high-resolution Earth observation satellite
- China successfully launched an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project which will also provide data for the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Gaofen-11, a sub-meter resolution optical satellite, will become part of the China High-resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS), initiated in 2010 to provide all-weather, all-day coverage by 2020 with optical and synthetic aperture radar satellites.
- Gaofen-11 was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a spacecraft and satellite maker under CASC.
- The satellite can be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief.
Source- Economic Times
- Mauritius’s SBM gets RBI approval for the subsidiary
- Mauritius-based SBM Group has received Reserve Bank of India’s approval to operate in the country through a wholly-owned subsidiary route — the first foreign lender to receive such a licence after local incorporation was introduced in 2013.
- Singapore’s DBS Bank is another lender which is awaiting final approval from the RBI to convert its 12 branches into a wholly owned subsidiary.
- The bank will soon operate as a banking subsidiary of SBM Group in India under the name of SBM Bank (India) Ltd.
- SBM, which has been in India since 1994, currently operates through four branches, in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ramachandrapuram.
Source – The Hindu
9. Scientists discover new shape called scutoid after studying human cells
- Scientists have discovered a new shape called scutoid while studying nature’s way of moulding tissue to form the skin, cavity linings and the building blocks of organs.
- The shape has five sides on one end and six on the other and a triangular surface on one of its longer edges.
- Scientists have referred to it as a twisted prism kind of shape that allows the tissue to mould around organs.
Source- Hindustan Times