15 Jul, 2017
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1) India’s first solar-powered DEMU train was launched on 14 July 2017. This train having 16 solar panels being fitted in six coaches runs between which railway stations? – Sarai Rohilla (Delhi) and Farukh Nagar (Haryana)
Explanation: Indian Railways on 14 July 2017 launched country’s first-ever solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train. This train was launched at the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi but it will run from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana.
– This train features a total of 16 solar panels being fitted in six coaches, each producing 300 Wp of power. The train has a power back-up and can run on battery for at least 72 hours.
– The cost of these solar panels, manufactured under ‘Make in India’ initiative, is Rs. 54 lakh. This is the first time in the world that solar panels are being used as grid in railways. With each of this type of train, Indian Railways is expecting to save 5.25 lakh litres of diesel in 25 years.
2) Which country overtook the United States to become Facebook’s largest country audience, as was reported in the figures reported by it to advertisers during July 2017? – India
Explanation: According to the figures quoted by social media giant Facebook to advertisers, India has overtaken the US to become Facebook’s largest country audience with a total 241 million active users. The active users in the US stood at 240 million.
– The figures indicate that active users in India were growing more than twice as fast as in the US. Active users in India were up 27% in the past six months alone, compared to growth of 12% in the US over the same period.
– However, Facebook gender imbalance in India was also visible as men still represent three-quarters of the active Facebook profiles. In contrast, in the US, 54% of the platform’s active users were women.
3) State-owned bank State Bank of India (SBI) from 15 July 2017 reduced the charges on electronic transfer of funds through NEFT and RTGS by up to 75%. What is the new NEFT charge on fund transfer up to Rs 10,000? – Re.1
Explanation: In a push to digital payments, SBI cut charges on electronic transfer of funds through National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) by up to 75% from 15 July 2017. This move is expected to benefit nearly 5.27 crore customers.
– As per the revised schedule, the NEFT charge on fund transfer up to Rs 10,000 has been halved to Re. 1, and to Rs. 2 for up to Rs. 1 lakh. For transfers between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh, the NEFT charge will be reduced to Rs. 3 from the existing Rs. 12. The charge above Rs. 2 lakh has been fixed at Rs. 5 as against the current Rs. 20.
– For RTGS transactions, the charges will be Rs. 5 for transactions between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs 5. lakh. Currently, the bank charges Rs. 20 for such transaction. If a customer transfers more than Rs. 5 lakh through the RTGS channel, he will be charged Rs. 10 as against Rs. 40 currently.
– SBI has also waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000 done through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).
4) What is India’s position in the SDG Index & Dashboards Report, the global index that assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs)? – 116 out of 157 countries
Explanation: The 2017 SDG Index & Dashboards Report was released on 13 July 2017. It has been produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung. It is a global index of 157 countries that assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) prepared by the United Nations (UN).
– India is ranked 116th on the index with a score of 58.1, behind countries such as Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and China. Pakistan is ranked 122.
– Sweden leads the list, followed by Denmark and Finland. Among the G7 countries, only Germany and France are among the top ten performers. The United States ranks 42nd on the Index, while Russia and China rank 62nd and 71st respectively.
– One important conclusion from this report is that the countries which are closest to fulfilling the goals are not the biggest economies but comparably small, developed countries.
5) What is the name of the book written on Suvra Mukherjee, the late wife of President Pranab Mukherjee, which was released by Vice President Hamid Ansari during a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 13 July 2017? – ‘Pranaber Preyosi’ (‘President’s Lady’)
Explanation: The book titled ‘Pranaber Preyosi’ (‘President’s Lady’) is based on Suvra Mukherjee, the late wife of President Pranab Mukherjee and is written by Sangeeta Ghosh. The book was released by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on 13 July 2017 and the first copy of the book was presented to the President.
– Suvra Mukherjee was not into politics despite his husband’s very active political life. She had a strong interest in music (particularly Tagore music) painting and writing. She was born in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and had faced the uprooting that affected millions in the sub-continent due to country’s partition in 1947.
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