Smriti Mandhana set to become first Indian to play in England’s Kia Super League

  • Indian women’s cricket team opener, Smriti Mandhana, will become the first player from India to appear in England’s Kia Super T20 League.
  • Smriti was signed by Western Storm ahead of the upcoming edition of the league that features six teams.
  • Smriti is 21 years old and has scored over 826 runs in the 40 T20 Internationals she has played so far.
  • Her highest score was 76 runs in a T20I match.
  • She has also played for Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia.

Fitch revises forecast for India growth to 7.4% for FY’19

  • Fitch Ratings raised India’s growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.4% from 7.3%, but cited higher financing costs and rising oil prices as risks to growth.
  • For 2019-20, it is estimated that India will grow at an even higher 7.5%.
  • According to Fitch, the Indian rupee has been one of the worst performing currencies in Asia this year.
  • In contrast, last month US-based Moody’s cut India’s growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.3% from 7.5% citing rising oil prices.

NLCIL inaugurates three 100-MW solar power projects

  • Union Minister for Finance, Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal, inaugurated NLCIL’s three 100-MW solar power projects at Virudhunagar and Tirunelveli districts.
  • The union minister dedicated these solar power projects to the nation.
  • NLCIL stands for Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited.
  • The Solar Power projects, with an installed capacity of 100-MW each, were erected at a cost of Rs.1,300 Crores, which includes Operation & Maintenance costs for 15 years.
  • The power generated from these units will be given to the Tamilnadu Power Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO) at a cost of Rs.4.41 per unit.

20 States sign MoU for implementing Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission

  • 20 Indian states have signed an MoU for the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).
  • This initiative is expected to change the landscape of healthcare in the country.
  • The AB-NHPM will protect around 50 crore people.
  • It will give cashless and paperless access to services of up to Rs.5 lakh per year, and will be available in both public and private hospitals across India.
  • Five more states are expected to join the MoU by the end of the month, taking the total to 25 states.

DRDO converts indigenous Pinaka rocket system into guided missile

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has converted indigenous Pinaka rocket system into a precision-guided missile.
  • The new upgraded system will able to hit its targets with enhanced range and accuracy.
  • The DRDO has completed initial trials on the upgraded missile and is now conducting developmental trials.
  • The Pinaka rocket is known for its quick-fire capabilities - 12 rockets in 44 seconds.
  • The first version of the Pinaka was a Mark-I rocket with a range of 40km. The Pinaka Mark-II has an expanded range of about 80km.

Indian Government launches Swajal scheme in 115 Aspirational Districts

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation launched the Swajal scheme in 115 Aspirational districts across the country to provide clean drinking water to rural areas.
  • The project will involve Rs.700 crores pumped in through flexi-funds.
  • The Swajal scheme, along with the government’s National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), will aim to provide villages with piped water supply powered by solar energy.
  • Under the schemes, hundreds of rural technicians will be trained for operation and maintenance of Swajal units.
  • The government is trying to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ‘safe drinking water for all’ in India by 2030.

NITI Aayog releases Composite Water Management Index, Gujarat tops

  • Gujarat has topped the Niti Aayog’s composite water management index (CWMI), while tribal state Jharkhand was adjudged the lowest.
  • On the index, Gujarat is followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • Niti Aayog’s composite water management index (CWMI) aims to assess and improve the performance in efficient management of water resources.
  • The index attempts to serve as a base for which States and UTs can work towards efficient and optimal utilization and recycling of water.
  • The index can be utilised to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.

Japan adopts economic plan to allow more foreign workers

  • Japan’s Cabinet has adopted an economic plan that would allow more foreign workers.
  • This comes as the country seeks to make up for its rapidly ageing population and declining workforce.
  • Japan is to relax visa requirements in sectors facing severe labour shortages such as nursing care, agriculture, construction and transport.
  • It will also start accepting highly skilled professionals.
  • However, workers would only be allowed to stay in the country for up to five years as visitors, not as immigrants.
  • Also, their family members would not be allowed to accompany them.
  • The number of foreign workers in Japan has nearly doubled over the past five years to 1.28 million last year.

US to slap 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods

  • The US will impose a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese goods.
  • The decision is apparently due to China’s alleged infringements of intellectual property (IP) and other unfair trade practices.
  • The move could  apply to about 1,100 exports and will target the Chinese aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and auto industries.
  • In a retaliatory move, China announced tariffs on $34 billion worth of US goods, including agriculture products.

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