One Liners – 21 and 22 July

• The Rajya Sabha has passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013. This bill prescribes that anyone who is caught bribing government officials can be sentenced to a jail term of up to seven years. The bill also prescribes immunity for someone who declares, within a fortnight of bribing the official, that he/she was bullied into giving the bribe.

• The Supreme Court ordered that the Third-party insurance for a term of three years will be mandatory for Cars being sold from September 1 and the Third-party insurance for a period of five years will be mandatory for two-wheelers.

• State Bank of India has won the Mobile Banking Initiative of the Year (India) Award for its integrated digital banking platform called YONO at the Asian Banking and Finance Retail Banking Awards, held in Singapore.

• Odisha STF has launched a drive to bust an international syndicate that peddles ‘endangered’ pangolin, one of the world’s most illegally traded mammals. It has requested Union Home Ministry to approach the Myanmar govt. to block the transit route for smuggled pangolin under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).

• US has released $200 million in military assistance to Ukraine for funding the ‘training, equipment, and advisory efforts to build the defensive capability of Ukraine’s forces’.

• Facebook has announced that it is working on a new satellite project, named Athena, which will provide broadband internet connections to rural and underserved areas.

• NASA has launched ‘Remote Sensing Toolkit’ to promote commercial use of satellite data. The toolkit will make it easy to find, analyse and utilize the most relevant satellite data for research, business projects or conservation efforts.

• IIT Kanpur had developed TreadWill, an online tool to help people cope with issues related to mental health. It is website designed to help people deal with stress, low mood, lethargy and other depressive symptoms through different online exercises, questionnaires and games. It is based on proven methodology of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

• Japan’s parliament has passed a law to legalise casino gambling. The law limits Japanese citizens to three casino visits per week and 10 per month out of concerns about gambling addiction. Admission will be free for foreigners while local residents will be charged a fee.

• Five central oil PSUs – IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL and NRL have signed agreement for executing 1500 km North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid. It is a major initiative to connect all North-East states to National Gas Grid. It will be implemented under Centre’s Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project.

• London has launched the ‘Walking Action Plan’ to make the city the ‘world’s most walkable city’. The move is aimed at reducing air pollution and improving health of the people by making streets more pedestrian-friendly.

• A new manufacturing facility for EVM production has been inaugurated at Bharat Electronics Limited in Bengalore. Also, Braille photo identity cards were distributed for the first time by the Election Commission in Karnataka to four visually impaired voters.

• Bihar government has decided to grant reservation in promotion to employees belonging to SC/ST categories. The decision was based on the advice of the Union Personnel and Training Department after a Supreme Court order directing the same.

• Indian badminton player Lakshaya Sen bagged the Gold medal by defeating Indonesia’s Kunlavut Vitidsaran in the finals of Badminton Asia Junior Championship.

• India’s Muhammad Anas Yahiya won Gold medal at 400-meter race event in Czech Republic.

• CM of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu launched ‘e-pragati core platform’. e-pragati, a forward looking digital initiative, is aimed at connecting the citizens to 34 departments, 336 autonomous organizations and 745-plus services.

• German auto major Volkswagen Group has planned to set up a design centre in Chakan near Pune. It is aimed to expand the production capacity of the company. Volkswagen will invest 8000 crore rupees, in phases, in the design centre, development of new models and other activities.

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