India set to become water scarce by 2025: report

PM’s U.S. trip to have digital, diaspora focus

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2.PM’s U.S. trip to have digital, diaspora focus

An Indian community gathering and a Digital India conclave, which will assemble CEOs, tech-entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, researchers and professionals in Silicon Valley, and a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama in New York will be the highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States in the last week of September.

3.Antrix-Devas deal: ED files money-laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money-laundering case to probe alleged Rs. 578-crore “wrongful” gain to private multimedia company Devas by Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO. A criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act has been filed by the agency’s zonal office here after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR in the case, registered in March this year. “The agency has named various individuals and entities in its complaint who were earlier named in the CBI FIR. The proceeds of crime in this case are being detected and summons will be issued soon,” official sources said. — PTI

4.Beijing slams U.S. for militarising South China Sea

China has slammed the U.S. for militarising the South China Sea and escalating tensions that have been fuelled by maritime disputes in these waters, which are vital for the conduct of international trade.

China’s Defence Ministry on Thursday accused Washington of staging patrols and joint military exercises. At the heart of the sharpening rhetoric is the territorial dispute in South China Sea which has pitted China with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

Obama’s ‘Asia Pivot’

Military activity in the Pacific has been accelerating following President Barack Obama’s “Asia Pivot” or “Rebalance” doctrine, which has led Washington to position 60 per cent of its forces in the Pacific. In Beijing, the “Asia Pivot” doctrine is seen as a China-containment policy.

The Chinese have been especially piqued by last Monday’s surveillance mission undertaken by U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral Scott Swift, who, for seven hours, flew on a reconnaissance mission aboard a P-8A plane in the South China Sea.

Last week, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the chief of U.S. naval operations, disclosed in a five-page “navigation plan” that Washington would beef up the aerial component of the U.S. Pacific Command.

On Thursday, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said at a news briefing that the U.S. was fuelling the “China threat” in a bid to drive differences between China and other claimant countries in the South China Sea.

For a long time, the U.S. had carried out frequent, widespread, close-in surveillance of China, by sending ships and aircraft to the region, he added.

“Recently they have further increased military alliances and their military presence, frequently holding joint drills.”

Mr. Yang stressed that China’s on-going naval exercise was routine and did not target a third party.


1. Centre to pump Rs. 70,000 cr. into PSU banks through

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF):

The Modi government on Friday announced a big-bucks boost to investments in the economy. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament that the Centre will over the next four years infuse Rs.70,000 crore out of budgetary allocations into state-owned banks.

Later, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told reporters that the proposed National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) that the Union Cabinet had approved on Wednesday will make equity investments of Rs. 20,000 crore every year in commercially viable long gestation projects which will help to kick-start the economy.

The Centre will own 49 per cent of this new Mumbai-based fund, which won’t be answerable to Parliament nor audited by the CAG. It will be run on a commercialbasis by managers, who will be paid globally competitive salaries.

2. Two-thirds of rural households still use firewood for cooking

Over two-thirds of households in rural India still rely on firewood for cooking, new data from the National Sample Survey (NSS) Office show. In contrast, a similar proportion of households use liquefied petroleum gas for cooking in urban areas, but 14 per cent of urban households — including nearly half of the poorest 20 per cent — still rely on firewood.

In North Indian States, cow-dung cake remained one of the major fuels for cooking for a third of rural households in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, a quarter in Haryana and a fifth in Bihar. The use of cooking fuel is sharply dictated by class — the use of firewood drops steadily with rising incomes in rural and urban areas, and LPG use is highest among the richest classes. The data show 87 per cent of Scheduled Tribe households and 70 per cent of Scheduled Caste households in rural India use firewood, compared with 57 per cent of others.

T.N.’s record

Tamil Nadu had the highest use of LPG among rural households, with over a third using it for cooking, followed by Kerala and Punjab. The use of LPG was least in Chhattisgarh (1.5 per cent of households) followed by Jharkhand (2.9 per cent) and Odisha (3.9 per cent).

The majority of households in the country uses electricity as its primary source of lighting, but over a fourth of rural households still rely on kerosene. The percentage of households using kerosene was as high as 73.5 per cent in Bihar and 58.5 per cent in U.P.. Over the past decade, the proportion of households using kerosene to light their houses has, however, halved in rural India. The use of electricity was the highest in rural A.P., Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where nearly all rural households used electricity to light their homes. In contrast, just 40 per cent of rural U.P. households had electricity.

3. Vaccine developed to fight Ebola

The Ebola virus is likely to be eradicated once for all as a new vaccine developed against the disease by Public Health Agency of Canada has shown 100 % efficiency in a trial that was carried out in Guinea.

The preliminary data extracted from the vaccination of 4,000 people suggest that the vaccine “works to protect” humans from the Ebola attack.

The scientific accomplishment, which has been authenticated by the medical journal, The Lancet , is likely to bring the West African epidemic to an end.

A dummy virus (vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV) was designed with diluted elements of Ebola. As the risk-free virus enters a human body, it alarms the immune system, which launches a scathing attack on the intruder, killing it along with the deadly Ebola virus.

Until July 26, about 11,279 people have died from 27, 748 Ebola infected cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The scientists have deployed “the ring” vaccination methodology in the vaccine trial, which means, 4000 people who had had a minimum or a maximum contact with 100 diseased persons were vaccinated with VSV. The scientists observed that the vaccinated community blocked the virus. One person complained about fever, which wasn’t worrying since it subsided naturally.

4. Division 30

A anti ISIS group trained by USA to fight ISIS and not the asad regime in Syria.

1. Centre to counter IS dogmas

The government will build a “counter-narrative” to the jihadi ideologies propagated by militant outfits such as the Islamic State (IS), to wean youngsters away from the group that has found traction among many educated Muslim youths worldwide.

For this, the government will rope in “moderate Muslims” and “learned people” from the community and give them a presence in cyberspace.

“The erudite Muslim leaders would provide a counter to the extreme ideologies of Islam and help in giving another perspective to the theory propagated by the IS,” said a senior official of the Home Ministry.

After undermining the influence of the IS among the young men in the country, the Home Ministry for the first time called a meeting of 12 States to frame a “national coherent strategy”. The Hindu was the first to report on July 21 that the Ministry called such a meeting to discuss the extent of the problem.

The constabulary in the State police forces would be trained in the social media as they are the ones who go around for beat-patrolling and can provide vital intelligence inputs.

The meeting, chaired by Home Secretary L.C. Goyal, lauded the efforts of the Telangana Police. By government estimates, at least 13 young men have left the country to join the IS and 20 have been stopped.

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