NewsPulse: Weekly News Digest (5th June – 11th June)

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

Newspulse (5th June – 11th June)

Second bi-monthly monetary policy review of FY’18

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to hold the interest rate at 6.25% in the second bimonthly monetary policy review.
  • The decision taken by the six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) was not unanimous for the first time since the formation of the panel. One of the members was not in favour of the decision.
  • The minutes of the MPC’s meeting will be published by June 21.
  • The RBI also reduced banks statutory liquidity ratio requirement to 20%, with effect from June 24, from 20.5%. This will free up resources for banks for lending.
  • RBI has reduced the standard asset provisioning requirement for home loans from 0.4% to 0.25% — a move which will prompt banks to push such loans by reducing the interest rates. Risk weight on such loans have also been rationalised.

Masala bonds:

  • RBI said that its forex department will henceforth examine the proposal of companies to float rupee denominated bonds for fund mobilisation from overseas markets.
  • Masala bonds are the rupee denominated bonds issued in the foreign markets.
  • The RBI has also revised provisions for maturity period, all-in-cost ceiling and recognised lenders (investors) of masala bonds.
    • For bonds, up to $50 million per fiscal, the maturity period will be three years and for bonds raising over $50 million (equivalent in rupee) per fiscal should be five years. Earlier, the minimum maturity period was of five years.

WHO revises antibiotics protocol

  • To curb antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) has divided the drugs into three categories — access, watch and reserve — specifying which are to be used for common ailments and which are to be kept for complicated diseases.
    • Commonly used antibiotics will be under the ‘access’ category;
    • the second line of antibiotics, slightly more potent, have been categorised under “watch” and
    • potent drugs to be used only as a “last resort” fall under the ‘reserve’ category.
  • The WHO has now recommended that antibiotics in the ‘access’ group be available at all times as treatment for a wide range of common infections. This includes amoxicillin, a widely-used antibiotic to treat infections such as pneumonia.
  • The ‘watch’ group covers antibiotics that are recommended as first or second choice treatment for a small number of infections.
  • The third group, ‘reserve’, includes antibiotics such as colistin and some cephalosporins that should be considered last-resort options, and used only in the most severe circumstances when all other alternatives have failed, such as for life-threatening infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.


  • An e-cigarette or Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) is a battery-operated smoking device that creates an aerosol by heating a mix of liquid nicotine, propylene glycol, water, glycerine and flavour, which, when inhaled, gives the feel of smoking a real cigarette. Manufacturers claim the aerosol is just water vapour, but tests have detected the presence of toxic chemicals in it.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, since 2005, the e-cigarette industry has grown from just one Chinese manufacturer to a global business worth an estimated $ 3 billion, with 500 brands and 8,000 flavours. The cost of an e-cigarette ranges between Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.
  • The Maharashtra Health Department is in the process of asking the state Food and Drug Administration to ban e-cigarettes, an electronic smoking device that is often marketed as a “harmless alternative” to tobacco cigarettes. Even as several studies have underscored the dangers of e-cigarettes, their import, distribution and sale has been growing in India’s unregulated markets for a decade.

ISRO successfully launches GSLV MkIII rocket:

  • The mission happens to be the first “developmental” flight of the next generation Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, called GSLV-MkIII with an entirely indigenous cryogenic upper stage that ISRO has been trying to master since the 1990s.
  • This cryogenic stage, that involves handling fuel at very low temperatures, is crucial to providing the extra thrust required by the rocket to carry heavier satellites deeper into space.
  • GSLV-MkIII is meant to carry payloads up to four to five tons and that was not possible with conventional propellants used by ISRO’s main launch vehicle, called PSLV, which can take satellites only up to 2 tons to orbits and that too until orbits of 600-km altitude from the earth’s surface.
  • It will not just help ISRO probe deeper into space but will also bring it extra revenue, enabling it to make commercial launches of heavier satellites.
  • Behind the success of the launch is nearly three decades of hard work in taming cryogenic technology and an interesting history of this technology was denied to ISRO by the United States in the early 1990s, forcing it develop it on its own.

Indian Army chief: woman in combat role soon

  • Indian army is all set to open up combat position for women, a gender barrier broken by only a few countries globally.
  • Currently combat role are an exclusive domain of men.
  • Currently women are allowed in a number of select areas like medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the army.

India slips to 45th spot in IMD’s World Competitiveness list:

  • Down by four notches from last year.
  • Hong Kong tops the list followed by Switzerland and Singapore, while US was pushed out of the top three slots.
  • China improves its position by 7 places to 18th.

Airport Authority of India expects to monetise 7000 acres of land

  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) expects to monetise nearly 7,000 acres out of its total land bank of about 1.36 lakh acres and use this land for building shopping centres, commercial offices and conference centres, among others.
  • The civil aviation ministry has started inter-ministerial consultations on amending the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994, to expand the scope of usage for land owned by the Authority.
  • The earnings from the monetisation of the land will be used for developing airports across the country.
  • In the Union Budget 2017-18, finance minister Arun Jaitley outlined government’s plans to monetise land bank held by the AAI, which is the third-largest land owner in the country after armed forces and railways.


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