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Current Affairs 26 October 2019
India Ranks 57 in Global Health Security Index; US Tops
- India has been placed at 57 position among 195 countries in the Global Health Security Index 2019 with a score of 46.5 out of 100.
- The Global Health Security Index is the first comprehensive assessment of epidemic and pandemic threats globally. It has been prepared by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, with research by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
- The index has been topped by the United States with a score of 83.5, followed by the UK(77.9) and the Netherlands (75.6) in the second and third positions.
Government sets up Committee to Resolve MeitY and NITI Aayog’s fight over AI
- The government has formed a committee to resolve differences between the NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) over who will implement its ambitious artificial intelligence mission.
- Head: Principal scientific advisor K VijayRaghavan.
- Other members: Secretary in the department of science and technology, CEO of Niti Aayog and Secretary of MeitY.
- Niti Aayog had received clearance from the expenditure finance committee (EFC) for a budget of Rs 7,000 crore, while MeitY had sent a separate Rs 400 crore proposal to the EFC to set up a national AI programme.
- The panel will resolve the overlaps between Niti Aayog’s and Meity’s plans for AI
Odisha govt signs LoU for ‘drink from tap mission’ with UNICEF
- Odisha Government has inked a Letter of Understanding (LoU) on “drink from tap mission” with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with an aim to provide quality drinking water to every urban household in the state.
- UNICEF will provide technical cooperation to the government of Odisha for implementation of the “drink from tap” program which aims at providing piped quality drinking water supply to each household on a 24-hour basis.
- In the first phase 1.20 lakh people are going to benefit.
Andhra Pradesh launches online platform SMARTPORT for Ease of Doing Business for Ports
- Andhra Pradesh has launched an online portal named SMARTPORT for implementing the Ease of Doing Business Reforms related to trade and export promotion in all ports in the state.
- Andhra Pradesh is the first state in the country to launch such a portal for port-related services.
- SMARTPORT will enable online services like request for entry of vessels into Indian waters, furnishing cargo declaration, request for entry certificate of vessels, furnishing import/export parameters and request for final clearance certificate
ICICI Bank exits GST Network, sells entire 10% stake to 13 state govts
- ICICI Bank which had 10% stake in GST Network, has sold its entire 10% stake to 13 state Governments. The stake sale is for aggregate cash consideration of Rs 1 crore.
- The bank will transfer 0.14 per cent stake to the Assam government and 0.81 per cent stake to the Telangana government. Besides, it will transfer Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Tripura, West Bengal, Delhi, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh governments 0.82 per cent stake each.
- Presently, Central Government and State Government had a total of 49% stake in GSTN (with 24.5% stake of each) while the remaining 51% was divided between 5 private firms with, HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and NSE Strategic Investment Co hold 10% each and LIC Housing Finance Ltd holding 11%.
- Last year, government had announced to make GSTN a public sector with the Centre holding 50 per cent stake in the GST Network and the remainder will be held by the states on a pro-rata basis in the new structure.