Daily NEWS Update - 2nd July 2015

1. Union Government hiked national floor-level minimum wage to 160 rupees per day
i. The Union Government in June 2015 increased the national floor-level minimum wage (NFLMW) to 160 rupees per day from 137 rupees per day. The new rate will be effective from 1 July 2015.

ii. If states revise their minimum wages as per the new NFLMW, the decision is expected to benefit millions of workers in the scheduled employments in the respective state jurisdictions.
iii. It was implemented for the first time in 1996 on the basis of the recommendations of the National Commission on Rural Labour (NCRL) under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
iv. It is a non-statutory measure and after every revision, the State Governments are persuaded to fix minimum wages such that in none of the scheduled employments, the minimum wage is less than NFLMW.

2. Greece becomes first developed nation to default IMF debt
i. Greece has become the first developed nation to default on International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt. It has defaulted on a 1.7 billion dollars payment to IMF.

ii. The deadline for debt payment was missed by Greece after Eurozone Finance Ministers refused to extend its bailout. They had refused the bailout after Greece rejected the proposal given International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission (EC). Apart from this, ECB also has frozen its liquidity lifeline to Greek banks.
iii. It should be noted that Greece is now formally in arrears and there are fears that this could put Greece at risk of shifting back to its old currency Drachma by leaving the Euro. This may increase in the cost of imports of Greece leading to increase inflation further worsening its economic crisis.
iv. The Greece crisis may depreciate the value Euro which may led investors to invest in Gold and Dollar to be on the safer side. In this case it may appreciate value of dollar and make it stronger as compared to Indian rupees.

3. Prof. Sanjeev Galande selected for G D Birla Award for Scientific Research 2014
i. Prof. Sanjeev Galande has been selected for the prestigious G D Birla award for Scientific Research 2014. He has been selected for his significant contribution and his pioneering research in the field of Epigenetics and Molecular Cell Biology.

ii. Presently, he is a professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune and also leading a team of scientists in studying various aspects of gene
iii. Galande had obtained doctorate in biochemistry from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 1996. He is also a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US. He is pioneer for establishing the Centre of Excellence in Epigenetics at IISER.

4. Cuba becomes first nation to eliminate mother-to-child HIV and syphilis: WHO
i. Cuba has become the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. It was announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

ii. Cuba was able to achieve this milestone with the help and efforts of WHO and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).
iii. Since 2010, WHO/PAHO are working with partners in Cuba and other American countries to implement a regional initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
iv. Services under this initiative were provided as part of an equitable, accessible and universal health system. It included services like maternal and child health programs and integrated programs for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

5. 'Mhara Gaon - Jagmag Gaon' scheme launched in Haryana
i. Haryana government today announced to launch a voluntary scheme 'Mhara Gaon - Jagmag Gaon', aimed at providing 24-hour uninterrupted power supply to rural domestic consumers and improving electricity bill collections in order to reduce "huge" accumulated losses of power utilities. 

ii. Announcing the scheme here, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the state has become first in the country to launch such an "innovative" scheme.
iii. Explaining the scheme, the Chief Minister said at present rural consumers were being supplied electricity for only 12 hours daily. 
iv. The consumers in these 310 villages falling under these 83 feeders would now be urged to install their meters outside their houses and get their old electricity wires replaced with insulated wires, the chief minister said. 
6. Dr Anup K Pujari joins as Secretary, MSME
i. Dr Anup K Pujari has been appointed Secretary of Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) here on Wednesday.

ii. He succeeds Shri Madhav Lal who superannuated on June 30, 2015. Before joining the Ministry of MSME, Pujari was holding the charge of Secretary, Mines.
iii. Born in 1956, Pujari is a post-graduate from the University of Boston, and a Doctorate in Economics. He has served the Central and Karnataka Government in various capacities.
iv. Shri Balvender Kumar took over the charge from Dr. Anup K Pujari IAS (KN: 1980) who is now the Secretary Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.

7. NASA unveils prototype of plane to fly on Mars
i. NASA has unveiled a boomerang-shaped aircraft that could be the first to take flight on Mars to look for potential landing sites for future manned mission to the red planet.

ii. The Prandtl—m will be released at about at 100,000 feet altitude, which will simulate the flight conditions of the Martian atmosphere, said Al Bowers, NASA Armstrong chief scientist and Prandtl—m programme manager.
iii. The tests could validate how the aircraft works, leading to modifications that will allow it to fold and deploy from a 3U CubeSat in the aeroshell of a future Mars rover.