Date: 4/4/2019

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  • Being part of India’s legacy and timeless traditions, handloom weaving has sustained and grown over the years by transfer of skills from one generation to another.
  • Handloom weaving is largely decentralized, and weaving families are mainly from the vulnerable and weaker sections of society, who weave for their household needs and also contribute to the production in the textile sector.
  • These weaving families are keeping alive the legacy of traditional Indian craft of different regions. The level of artistry and intricacy achieved in handloom fabrics is unparalleled and certain weaves/designs are still beyond the scope of modern machines.
  • The handloom sector can meet every consumer need ranging from exquisite fabrics, which take months to weave, to popular items for daily use. As per the 3rd Handloom report carried out in 2009-10, more than 43 lakh people are engaged in weaving and allied activities.
  • Remarkably around 77 percent of adult weavers are women and only 23 percent are men. Around 23.77 Lakhs looms of varied designs and construction are used by these weavers.
  • A total of 7200 million sq.mtrs of handloom textiles were produced in India during 2014-15 and 2246 Crores of handlooms were exported.
  • In addition to being the 2nd largest employment provider in the unorganized sector (after agriculture), the Indian handloom industry is also unique as a sector which employs over 75% women.
  • In today’s India when young people from rural/semi-rural areas are constantly tempted to desert their traditional vocations and migrate to urban areas for employment, the handloom sector provides these weavers/artisans, the opportunity to earn decent wages and at the same time preserve India’s beautiful weaving heritage.
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  • First they snubbed the driver, now the borders autonomous cars were given an international road test on 3rd April at a new centre in the symbolically significant town of Schengen in Luxembourg.
  • The joint venture sponsored by the French, German and Luxembourg governments means that driverless cars can be tested in real-life scenarios including motorways and urban spaces across borders.
  • Schengen, which gave its name to the European Union's border-free Schengen Zone, is located in far southeast Luxembourg, on the fringes of the Grand Est region of France and the German region of Sarre.
  • Surveys demonstrate that people are suspicious of driverless vehicles, which "talk" with other cars and their surroundings, believing them to be more dangerous than traditional versions.
  • French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne, who attended the launch along with her German and Luxembourg counterparts, said that testing was a key way to alleviate such concerns and that such smart vehicles had a key place in future mobility.
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  • In an attempt to propel economy ahead of the general elections, the RBI on 4th April lowered the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent, the second cut in a row, to the lowest level in one year on softening inflation.
  • The central bank, however, kept monetary policy stance 'Neutral' over uncertainty over monsoon.
  • It also kept GDP growth forecast for the 2018-19 at 7.2 per cent.
  • In the second policy review under Governor Shaktikanta Das, the six-member Monetary Policy Committee voted 4:2 in favour of the rate cut.
  • The benchmark interest rate was cut by 0.25 per cent to 6 per cent, a move which will result in lower cost of borrowing for banks that are expected to transmit the same to individuals and corporates.
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  • The Reserve Bank of India Monetary Policy Committee has decided to reduce its key lending rates by 0.25% to bring the repo rate down to 6%.This is the RBI's second such reduction in as many months.
  • The measure is expected to bring down EMIs for personal, home and car loans apart from boosting the economy, here's more
  • As anticipated by markets and experts, the Reserve Bank of India has slashed repo rate for a second time in as many months.
  • After a 2-day meet, the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Govenor Shaktikanta Das, cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to a one-year low of 6 per cent and reverse repo rate to 5.75 per cent on prospects of benign inflation. 4 of the 6 MPC members favoured the cut, 2 favoured status quo.
  • Reduction is repo rate makes it less costly for banks to borrow from the central bank. It's expected that banks will pass on benefits to their borrowers in both the retail and corporate spheres.
  • The RBI governor also said that the central bank will soon issue an amended circular on the NPA resolution issue.
  • It was also indicated that though the RBI had asked banks to start using external benchmarks in December last year while disbursing personal or retail loans on floating rates starting the 1st of April. The move has been put off for now.
  • The MPC has also said that the demostic economy faces challenges. The situation requires close monitoring till the next MPC meet in June.
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  • UAE has conferred the prestigious Zayed Medal to Prime Minister Modi, the highest decoration awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states.
  • The award comes in appreciation of PM Modi’s role in consolidating the long-standing friendship and joint strategic cooperation between the two countries.
  • In a tweet Thursday morning, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE's Armed Forces, announced this decision of conferring the award and said the Indian Prime Minister had played a pivotal role in enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries to the level of comprehensive strategic relations.
  • Referring to PM Modi as his "dear friend", Sheikh Mohamed in his tweet said that the ties between India and UAE are “comprehensive and strategic”. He praised the values that characterize Indian society in its diversity, especially tolerance, coexistence and respect, according to state news agency Wam.
  • The tweet said “We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE President grants him the Zayed Medal.”
  • "By granting our dear friend the Indian Prime Minister the Zayed Medal, we express our appreciation for his role and efforts in developing friendly relations and extending bridges of cooperation between the UAE and the Republic of India in various fields", the Crown Prince added.
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  • Nepal-India Franchise Investment Expo and Conclave will be held in Kathmandu from 15 to 16 May 2019. The event primarily focuses on building the relations between India and Nepal through entrepreneurship development.
  • The conclave is organised by Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) in association with Embassy of India and Franchise India.
  • The Expo will be a premier exhibition showcasing a myriad mix of international and national brands from different industries outlining their brand concept and business operations, focusing on master franchising or unit franchise.
  • Briefing media persons in Kathmandu this afternoon, FNCCI President Bhawani Rana said the event is expected to introduce new investment opportunities to Nepalese market. She said one of the core areas will be to focus for networking between investors of Nepal and India.
  • According to Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri the summit will help in bringing the leading Indian iconic brands to Nepal.
  • Their entry would not only bring investment into Nepal but also technology transfers and business know how.
  • The Expo will have diverse business zones showcasing over 100 business opportunities across food & beverages, retails, education, fitness, fashion, wellness, real estate, technology and services.
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  • The levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are higher today than ever before in the past three million years, according to a study.
  • For the first time, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany succeeded to do a computer simulation that fits ocean floor sediment data of climate evolution over this period of time.
  • The study found that Ice Age onset, and the start of the glacial cycles from cold to warm and back, was mainly triggered by a decrease of CO2-levels.
  • Today, it is the increase of greenhouse gases due to the burning of fossil fuels that is fundamentally changing our planet, according to the study published in the journal Science Advances.
  • Global mean temperatures never exceeded the preindustrial levels by more than 2 degrees Celsius in the past three million years, the study shows.
  • The current climate policy inaction, if continued, would exceed the 2° limit already in the next 50 years, researchers said.
  • “We know from the analysis of sediments on the bottom of our seas about past ocean temperatures and ice volumes, but so far the role of CO2 changes in shaping the glacial cycles has not been fully understood,” said Matteo Willeit of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, lead author.
  • “It is a breakthrough that we can now show in computer simulations that changes in CO2 levels were a main driver of the ice ages, together with variations of how the Earth’s orbits around the sun, the so-called Milankovitch cycles,” he said.
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  • Eleven million deaths worldwide in 2017 were linked to people eating poor diets high in sugar, salt and processed meat that contributed to heart disease, cancer and diabetes, a global study found.
  • The research, published on Wednesday online in The Lancet, found that among 195 countries studied, the proportion of diet-related deaths was highest in Uzbekistan and lowest in Israel.
  • The United States ranked 43rd, while Britain was 23rd, China 140th and India 118th.
  • Consumption of healthier foods such as nuts and seeds, milk and whole grains was on average too low, and people consumed too many sugary drinks and too much processed meat and salt. This led to one in five deaths in 2017 being linked to bad diets.
  • The Global Burden of Disease study tracked trends from 1990 to 2017 of consumption of 15 dietary factors. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington which led the work, said it “affirms what many have thought for several years.”
  • “Poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world,” he said.
  • “Our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds and vegetables.”
  • The study found people ate only 12 percent of the recommended amount of nuts and seeds an average intake of 3 grams a day, compared with the recommended 21 grams and drank more than 10 times the recommended amount of sugary drinks.
  • Diets high in sugar, salt and bad fats are known risk factors for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer.
  • The global diet also included less than a quarter of the recommended amount of whole grains at 29 grams average intake a day compared with the recommended 125 grams and almost double the recommended amount of processed meat - at around 4 grams average intake per day compared with the 2 grams recommended.

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