Daily GK Update: 6th February 2020

India slips to 40th position on International Intellectual Property Index

  • India’s slipped to 40th position on the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, which analyses the IP climate in 53 global economies, this year, according to a report of US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center. Last year India was ranked at 36th position out of 50 countries.
  • The US, the UK, Sweden, France and Germany remained the top five economies on the intellectual property index in 2019 retaining their spots from the last year. “Since the release of the 2016 National IPR Policy, the Government of India has made a focused effort to support investments in innovation and creativity through increasingly robust IP protection and enforcement,” said Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President for the Global Innovation Policy Center.

Source: Financial Express

RBI policy: Repo rate unchanged at 5.15%; FY21 GDP growth projected at 6%

  • The monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday kept the repo rate unchanged at 5.15 per cent — a 10-year low in its last policy review of the financial year 2019-20 (FY20).
  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate stands unchanged at 4.90 per cent.
    Further, the bank said it will maintain ‘accommodative’ policy stance as long as it is necessary to revive growth, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target.
  • The committee voted 6-0 in favour of the status quo of the interest rates.

Source: Business Standard

Trump acquitted by Senate in impeachment trial

  • The Senate, run by the president’s fellow Republicans, voted to acquit him 52-48 on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction of Congress.
  • Democrats charged Mr Trump in December with pressuring Ukraine to smear a potential White House rival.
  • He will now become the first impeached president to seek re-election.
  • Impeachment allows Congress – the part of the US government that writes and brings in laws – to put presidents on trial.
  • It is a rare event and a political process, rather than a criminal one.

Source: BBC News

Rakhi Halder bags gold at Senior Women’s National Weightlifting Championships

  • In Senior Women’s National Weightlifting Championships, Rakhi Halder of Bengal has bagged gold in the 64kg category of the 35th edition of the event in Kolkata.
  • Though way short of her personal best, Halder lifted 93 kg in snatch and 117 kg in clean and jerk to clinch the gold medal yesterday. She was 10kg ahead of her nearest rival Harjinder Kaur of Chandigarh.
  • Ranked 19th in the Olympic qualifiers list, Halder had produced a personal best of 218 kg at the Qatar International Cup last year to win the bronze medal.
  • At the Commonwealth Championship in June 2019, Halder who is also an Indian Railways employee had clinched the gold with a total lift of 214-kg.

Source: News Services Division

Cabinet approves conferring INI status to five IIITs

  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the status of five Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) as Institutions of National Importance.
  • This formalisation will enable them to award degrees of Bachelor of Technology (B Tech), Master of Technology and Ph. D degree as the Cabinet approved the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Source: Business Line

Karnataka launches Janasevaka scheme for home delivery of govt services

  • The Karnataka government on Tuesday launched the Janasevaka scheme in a few municipal corporation wards to ensure home delivery of various services like ration cards, senior citizen identity and health cards.
  • The scheme, which was launched by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, will pertain to 53 services involving 11 departments.
  • “Janasevaka under the Sakala scheme is a programme to avail the benefits of government schemes at the doorstep. Our objective is to make the lives of the citizens of Karnataka easy by launching this scheme,” the Chief Minister said.

Source: Business Standard

Cabinet approves setting up a major port in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs 65,000 cr

  • The government on Wednesday approved setting up a new major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs 65,544.54 crore.
  • The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • “Cabinet gives in-principle approval for setting up a new Major Port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra. Total cost of the project is likely to be Rs 65,544.54 crore,” an official statement said.

Source: The Economic Times

Atal Innovation Mission joins with several ministries to stimulate innovation in India

  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and UNICEF India signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) today, with the goal to provide an open platform to young children across different communities in India via the Atal Tinkering Lab initiative to orient the burgeoning innovation ecosystem towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on child rights.
  • The LoI was signed by Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF representative in India, and Mr. Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission.
  • Through this collaboration, AIM and UNICEF seek to promote participation, skilling and empowerment of adolescent girls and boys in and out-of-school, via Atal Innovation Mission’s programs. This strategic partnership will also help effectively build capacities of adolescents, young entrepreneurs, mentors, and teachers.

Source: United Nations in India

Pink city Jaipur receives UNESCO World Heritage City certificate

Another feather was added to the cap of Pink City, as the capital of Rajasthan is known, renowned for its art, architecture and culture in the world, when Auditor General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay presented the World Heritage City certificate to Minister of Urban Development Shanti Dhariwal, here on Wednesday.
Source: India Aware

‘Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill” introduced in Lok Sabha

  • With over Rs 9 lakh crore worth direct taxes locked up in litigation, the government on Wednesday introduced a Bill in Parliament which seeks to provide an option to taxpayers to pay only the disputed tax by March 31 and get complete waiver of interest and penalty.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday introduced ‘The Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020’ in the Lok Sabha.
  • Taxpayers willing to settle disputes under the scheme shall be allowed a complete waiver of interest and penalty if they pay the entire amount of tax in dispute up to March 31, 2020, after which 10 per cent additional disputed tax shall have to be paid over and above the tax liability.

Source: Business Standard