1. Obama at Pentagon for meetings on Islamic State (ISIS)
(i) US President Barack Obama made a rare visit to the Pentagon to get an update from military leaders on the campaign against the Islamic State.
(ii) The meeting with top defence officials and other national security advisers was followed by weekend airstrikes in eastern Syria by the US-led coalition.
(iii) The US President pledged to increase U.S. support for moderate opposition in Syria’s civil war. He also said that the US needs to do more at home to prevent attacks and combat ISIS’ efforts to recruit followers.
2. PM to attend BRICS and SCO Summit
(i) Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Ufa city in Russia to participate in BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summits.
(ii) The BRICS summit will see discussions to enhance cooperation in the economic area, to establish a multi-currency financial order that reduces dependence the U.S. dollar and the Euro in global transactions, among other things.
(iii) The forum is expected to create a currency pool under the Contingent Reserve Arrangement and officially launch BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB).
Highlights of BRICS’ 7th summit:
. BRICS to create currency pool under Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).
. Launch BRICS’s New Development Bank.
. NDB & CRA to enable countries emerge from the shadow of the West’s financial clout.
. To have direct transactions in local currencies.
. NDB to have opening capital of $100 billion.
. Founding members to share opening capital of $50 billion equally.
. CRA to have opening capacity of $100 billion.
. CRA will be based on currency swap among member countries.
. CRA to help members overcome short-term liquidity pressure.
. CRA to meet members’ unexpected risks or balance of payment burdens.
3. Railway Minister launches paperless mobile ticket system
(i) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched the paperless mobile ticket system on Mumbai’s Western Railway suburban system on July 8. The passengers can take advantage of the facility by using unreserved ticketing service or the UTS App available on Windows and Android mobile platforms and maintain a balance in their R-wallet.
(ii) Under this system, passengers can buy multiple tickets for any class following which an image in PDF format will be received on the phone that cannot be forwarded or edited.
(iii) The app will soon be extended to other mobile platforms other than Android and Windows.
4. IDBI signs refinance agreement with Mudra Bank
(i) The state-run IDBI bank signed an agreement with Mudra Bank for refinancing of loans given to small enterprises.
(ii) The agreement was signed on July 1 by IDBI bank’s Executive Director S K V Srinivasan and Mudra Bank’s CEO Jiji Mammen and is expected to be implemented throughout all their branches.
(iii) “As per the agreement, the bank will offer credit facilities upto Rs 10 lakh to micro enterprises, at a competitive interest rate under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) and Mudra will be providing refinance assistance to the bank for eligible sanctioned loan cases,” IDBI bank said in a release.
5. Mandatory recognition for trade unions in all factories
(i) Now, factories across the country might soon have to recognise a trade union as representative of its workforce and engage in dialogue with it in case of any dispute.
(ii) The Union Labour Ministry has proposed a trade union in a factory to be empowered as the ‘principal bargaining agent’ for settling disputes or engaging in discussion with employees.
(iii) Presently, there is no provision for recognition of trade unions in India’s central labour laws. A provision in this regard would be inserted in the proposed Industrial Relations bill, after discussions with industry and workers’ representatives on July 14. However, states will be free to either frame their own laws or follow the one mandated by Parliament as the subject falls under concurrent list.
6. Abdullah Hussain – Pak’s renowned Urdu novelist passes away
(i) Renowned Pakistani Urdu novelist Abdullah Hussain who authored the bestseller and critically acclaimed ‘Udas Naslain’ passed away at his Lahore residence.
(ii) Other than his acclaimed work, ”Udas Naslain’ he will be remembered for his famous novels – ‘Baagh’, ‘Nadaar Loag’ and short stories ‘Faraib and Nashaib’.
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