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Important Current Affairs 24th July 2017

Important Current Affairs 24th July 2017

Current Affairs 24th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Dr Jitendra Singh lays foundation stone of Barak Hostel at JNU campus 


The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh laid the foundation stone of Barak Hostel in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus here today. 
●    During the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that it has been a long wait for today’s event to take place. 
●    He highlighted that JNU has more than 8,000 students, out of which there are more students from Northeast than any other State outside NE region. 
●    He said that last year, the Foundation Stone of a Hostel exclusively for Northeast girl students was also laid in Bangalore University. 
●    Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the focus of the Government is to bring rest of India closer to North East India. 
●    He said that the Ministry of DoNER has created “Venture Capital Fund” for the young Start-Ups and entrepreneurs, who decide to initiate an enterprise in NE region. 
●    He said that this initiative is in addition to all the incentives available for Northeast. 
●    He also emphasized upon the literacy rate of Northeast region and said that the State of Mizoram has a high literacy rate, next to Kerala.


Airport Authority of India signs MoU with Govt. of Uttarakhand for development for aviation sector in the State


Going ahead with its commitment towards the responsibility of creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in the country, Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand last week and joined hands with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) to develop the civil aviation sector in the state. 
●    The scope of the MoU is to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand, assessing commercial potential of various airports of the state, identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the state, evaluating site related technical and engineering parameters for development of projects, making estimate of the capital outlay for the future projects and development of master plan for existing and future civil aviation infrastructure in the state. 
●    AAI will also assist UCADA in obtaining necessary clearances for airport operations starting with the upgraded airport at Pithoragarh and later at Chiniyalisaur. 
●    The MoU was signed by Shri. S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Shri. Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development). Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary, GoUK said that the Government of Uttarakhand is determined to fulfill the long pending requirement of operational airports within the state. 
●    These airports would also be part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme and will boost tourism and air connectivity for the local public.


Lok Sabha Amends Free, Compulsory Education Bill


The Lok Sabha on Friday gave its approval to a bill amending the law on free and compulsory education to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment. 
●    Replying to a brief debate on the The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javedakar said that some states have adopted innovative ways to tackle with the problem of proxy teachers.
●    He said one of the ways was of putting up photographs of teachers in the school and another was a technology application that registers attendance when students and teachers are in 50 feet radius of the school.
●    Responding to points raised by members, he said learning outcomes were important and the government was planning to bring a bill to boost academic performances.


UP Government announces to launch all-women 'Pink' AC buses with CCTV cameras


The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government on 24 July 2017 announced to launch 'Pink' air-conditioned buses installed with CCTV cameras exclusively for women. 
●    The staff, including the conductor in these buses, will be women only. The 'Pink' buses will have panic buttons installed for emergencies.
●    A presentation in this regard was made before the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development on 21 July 2017 by the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) authorities.
●    Following this, the Union Ministry sanctioned funds for the 50 buses from its 'Nirbhaya Fund' for the 'Pink' buses in UP. 
●    The ministry permitted the state government to buy the buses and install CCTV cameras in the other 12500 buses owned by the UPSRTC.
●    The Union Government created the Rs 1000 crore Nirbhaya Fund in 2013 after the 2012 gangrape case, in which a girl named Nirbhaya was brutally raped. 
●    These funds were created to support gender sensitisation and to ensure safety of women.


India to host Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017


Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice in July 2017 announced that the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), one of the world’s largest conferences on Cyber Space and related issues, will be hosted by India.
●    The Conference will take place on 23 and 24 November 2017 in New Delhi.
●    The 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
●    It is the first time ever that the Global Conference on Cyber Space is taking place outside Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations.
 

Current Affairs 24th July 2017: APPOINTMENTS

Gopal Baglay appointed as Joint Secretary in PMO

Gopal Baglay, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, was on 21 July 2017 appointed as the Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). 
●    His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for a period of three years.
●    Baglay succeeds Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who is now appointed as India's Ambassador to France.
●    Baglay's appointment as the Joint Secretary came less than five months after he took charge as Head of the ministry's external publicity division. 
●    He is likely to be succeeded by Raveesh Kumar, Consul General of India in Frankfurt.
●    Baglay is a 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service officer.
●    He has handled media at the embassy in Kathmandu as a counsellor from 2008 to 2010.
●    Baglay has served as Deputy High Commissioner to Islamabad from 2011 to 2014.
 

Current Affairs 24th July 2017: SPORTS

England beats India by 9 runs to lift ICC Women's World Cup 2017


●    The ICC Women's Cricket World Cup is the oldest and most prestigious international women's cricket tournament.
●    It is currently organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
●    Until 2005, it was administered by a separate body, the International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC).
●    The first World Cup was held in England in 1973, two years before the inaugural men's tournament.
●    The eleven World Cups played to date have been held in five different countries, with India and England having hosted the event three times.
 

Current Affairs 24th July 2017: OBITUARY

Senior Congress Leader Shivajirao Giridhar Patil passes away


Shivajirao Girdhar Patil, senior Congress leader, freedom fighter and former Maharashtra Minister passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai on 22 July 2017. He was 92.
●    The father of late National Award winning actress Smita Patil, he began his social activism at an early age when he took part in the Indian independence movement. 
●    Patil like his daughter had always displayed a staunch commitment to social causes across sectors with unwavering resolve and contribution in the fields of education and agriculture through the cooperative sector.
●    He was married to Vidyatai Patil, a social worker, who passed away in March 2015 after 77 years of marriage. He is survived by two daughters, Anita Deshmukh and Manya Seth and actor grandson, Prateik Babbar, the son of Smita who had died during childbirth in December 1986.
●    Senior Congress Leader and Freedom Fighter Shivajirao Giridhar Patil passes away 
●    He served as an active politician since a very young age and had been associated with several political parties including CPI, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
●    He began his career as a radical and a freedom fighter and was attracted to the Communist movement as a teenager.
 

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Important Current Affairs 23rd July 2017

Important Current Affairs 23rd July 2017

Current Affairs 23rd July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

PPAs signed for first Wind Auction totalling 1050 MW 

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal presided over the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for purchase of 1050 MW of wind power under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)’s first Wind Auction Scheme here today.
●    The PPAs were signed between PTC India Ltd., the trading company, and the successful wind power developers.
●    As per the PPAs signed, Mytrah Energy, Inox Wind and Ostro Kutch Wind Pvt. Ltd. would supply wind power of capacity 250 MW each. 
●    Further, Green Infra would supply 249.9 MW and Adani Green Energy 50 MW from their wind power projects through inter-state transmission system at a tariff of Rs. 3.46 per kWh discovered through the open and transparent competitive bidding process. 
●    PTC India has tied-up this wind power for sale to DISCOMS of a number of States. Under this, Uttar Pradesh would get 449.9 MW, Bihar 200 MW, Jharkhand 200 MW, Delhi 100 MW, Assam 50 MW and Odisha 50MW for meeting their Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).
 

Committee for research on benefits from cow


On July 16, 2017, the Central Government set up a 19-member panel to carry out scientifically validated research on cow-derivatives .
●    The panel consists 19 members including three members from the RSS and the VHP and will be headed by Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan.
●    This committee will select projects that will help in the scientific validation of panchagavya i.e. cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee in different areas like nutrition, health and agriculture.
●    Vijay Bhatkar, chairman of the science unit of RSS- Vigyan Bharti and Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University is the co-chairman of this committee.
●    Former director of CSIR R.A. Mashelkar, IIT-Delhi Director, Pro. V.Ramgopal Rao, General Secretary of Vigyan Bharti A. Jayakumar and Sunil Man Singh will be other members of the committee.
●    Apart from this, the secretaries of science and technology, biotechnology and energy ministry have been included in the committee.
●    The term of this committee will be 3 years.


Union Government launches new taxpayer service module Aaykar Setu


●    Arun Jaitley, the Union Finance Minister, on 10 July 2017 launched Aaykar Setu, a new taxpayer service module.
●    The module was launched in a mobile responsive android version along with the desktop version to enhance mobile access experience.
●    While launching the Aaykar Setu, Arun Jaitley stated that this e-initiative would help in reducing physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities and thereby minimizing the chances of any tax harassment.   
●    The new step is an effort by the Income Tax Department (ITD) to directly communicate with the taxpayers, on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services aimed at providing tax information at their fingertips.


Union Government launches student-scientist connect programme JIGYASA

The Union Government on 6 July 2017 launched JIGYASA programme, a student- scientist connect programme. 
●    In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Union Ministry of Science & Technology and Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
●    For the implementation of the programme, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) tied-up with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).
●    'JIGYASA' would inculcate the culture of inquisitiveness on one hand and scientific temper on the other, amongst the school students and their teachers. 
●    The Programme is expected to connect 1151 Kendriya Vidyalayas with 38 National Laboratories of CSIR targeting 100000 students and nearly 1000 teachers annually.
 

Current Affairs 23rd July 2017: SPORTS NEWS

For the first time India tops 2017 Asian Athletics Championships medal tally


With five gold, one silver and three bronze  medals on the final day of the 2017 Asian Athletics Championship, India finished on top of the medals tally, comfortably surpassing China and Kazakhstan.
●    China and Kazakhstan took the second and third spots respectively in the medal tally.
●    India showed its best performance ever in the Asian Athletics Championships, clinching a total of 29 medals, including 12 golds.
●    The 2017 Asian Athletics Championships was the 22nd edition of the Asian Athletics Championships.
●    It was held from 6 to 9 July 2017 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
●    Olly, the Olive Ridley sea turtle, an endangered species that travels to Odisha's Rushikulya and Gahirmatha beaches for its nesting, was the mascot for the championship.
 

Current Affairs 23rd July 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Okinoshima, Japan’s men-only island, gains UNESCO World Heritage tag


Okinoshima Island, an ancient religious site in Japan where women are banned and male visitors need to take off their clothes and take a naked bath before visiting the shrine, was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site on 9 July 2017.
●    Okinoshima, which is a part of the city of Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan, is located in south-west Japan between the main island of Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula. 
●    Referred as the men-only island, the island is permanently manned by a Shinto priest who prays to the island’s goddess, in a tradition that has been kept up for centuries.
●    The island is considered sacred by the local Munakata Taisha and consists of a single employee of the shrine. 
●    The entire island is considered a Shinto Kami, and the island is off limits to women.
 

Current Affairs 23rd July 2017: OBITUARY

Former Indian Ambassador to the US Naresh Chandra passes away


Naresh Chandra, former Indian Ambassador to the United States, passed away on 9 July 2017 following a brief illness.
●    He was 82. 
●    Chandra served as the Indian Ambassador to the United States from 1996 to 2001.
●    Chandra was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and obtained his graduation degree and M.Sc. (Math) degree from the Allahabad University.
●    He joined the Indian Administrative Service in May 1956 and till 1964, he served in different capacities in various districts of Rajasthan.
●    He was also an Adviser to the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir in 1986 for a period of 8 months.
●    Chandra had served as the Cabinet Secretary from 1990 to 1992.
 

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Important Current Affairs 22nd July 2017

Important Current Affairs 22nd July 2017

Current Affairs 22nd July 2017: SPORTS NEWS

Manpreet Kaur wins shot put gold at Asian Grand Prix Athletics Meet

Indian shot putter Manpreet Kaur on 24 April 2017 clinched a gold medal in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in Jinhua, China.
●    Manpreet came up with a best throw of 18.86 metre, a national record. In 2015, she made a national record after throwing a shot put at the distance of 17.96 metre.
●    With the win, the shot putter also acquired the No 1 spot in the world rankings.
●    With the performance, Manpreet also qualified for the IAAF World Championships to be held in August 2017 in London, UK.
●    Bian Song of China finished a distant second with 17.96 metres.
 

Current Affairs 22nd July 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

French Senate approves controversial anti-terror bill

Lawmakers in France’s conservative-dominated Senate on 18 July 2017 approved controversial legislation to further strengthen France’s anti-terror laws by a majority vote.
●    The French senators passed the draft bill by a vote of 229 to 106.
●    The Bill will now be sent to the lower house of the National Assembly for a vote in October 2017.
●    The new security laws, a campaign pledge of President Emmanuel Macron, would replace a state of emergency imposed after November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
●    Under the state of emergency measures, authorities have the power to place suspects under house arrest, order house searches, and ban public gatherings without the prior approval of a judge.
●    Under the proposed legislation, some of emergency state practices would become permanent law. 
●    It would turn warrantless property searches and house arrests into common police practice. 
●    However, the step has been criticised by rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which have described it as draconian.
 

Current Affairs 22nd July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Telangana government puts cap on weight of school bags

The Telangana government has imposed a cap on the weight of bags carried by schoolchildren in order to prevent any resulting physical effect and anxiety disorder in students.
●    The government issued an official order on 18 July 2017 detailing the allowed weight limit of school bags for students studying in the primary section to those in Class X. 
●    The order has been issued to all the school managements.
●    The maximum weight of a school bag with textbooks and notebooks should not exceed 1.5 kg for children in Class 1 and II and it should not go above 2-3 kg for children studying in Class III, IV and V.
●    The weight limit for students studying in Classes VI and VII is 4 kg, while for those in Classes VIII and IX it is 4.5 kg.
 

Current Affairs 22nd July 2017: APPOINTMENTS

Bharat Arun appointed as Team India’s new bowling coach


Bharat Arun was appointed as the new bowling coach of Team India by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 18 July 2017.
●    The decision was announced during a press briefing held by the newly appointed Indian team coach Ravi Shastri after meeting the four-member BCCI panel.
●    Shastri also welcomed both Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan on board as batting and bowling consultants and said that the contracts of the duo will be finalised by the BCCI officials.
●    He, however, stated that while he is happy to have the services of the former Indian cricketing greats, he wants full-time assistant coaches according to his choice. 
●    He said that he needed someone like Arun to be around the team to see that Zaheer’s suggestions are being implemented.
 

Sanjay Kothari appointed as Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind

Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board Sanjay Kothari was on 22 July 2017 appointed as the Secretary to 14th President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. 
●    Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June 2016 as DoPT secretary. 
●    National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Kovind was on 20 July 2017 elected as the President of India, defeating his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rival Meira Kumar in a straight fight.
●    Senior journalist Ashok Malik was named as Press Secretary to Kovind. Malik is at present Distinguished Fellow of the Observer Research Foundation.
●    Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be the Joint Secretary to Kovind. 
●    Lal, a 1988-batch Indian Forest Service officer, is at present Resident Commissioner of Gujarat government in Delhi.
 

UK’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill elected to Home Affairs Select Committee

Britain’s first woman Sikh Member of Parliament in July 2017 was elected to an influential cross-party panel in the UK Parliament that examines the workings of the Home Office.
●    Preet Kaur Gill, who won the Edgbaston seat for the Labour party in the 8 June 2017 snap general election, was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament. 
●    She will be one of 11 MPs on the cross-party home affairs committee.
●    Gill has also been chosen to lead the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs, which promotes the interests of Sikhs in Britain.
●    The Home Affairs Select Committee is a Committee of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

 

Current Affairs 22nd July 2017: OBITUARIES

Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, dies

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, passed away on 20 July 2017 in California, U.S. He was 41.
●    Bennington apparently hanged himself, which lead to his death.
●    Born on 20 March 1976, Chester Bennington was an American singer and songwriter.
●    He was best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park.
●    He was also the lead singer for Dead by Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.
●    He first gained prominence as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000.
●    In 2005, he formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project. The band's debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on 13 October 2009.
●    He has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader.
 

Current Affairs 22nd July 2017: ECONOMY

Reliance to buy 25% stake in Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Thursday said that its board has approved to pick around 25 per cent stake in Balaji Telefilms by acquiring 2.52 crore shares for around ₹413 crore.
●    The company’s board has approved making investments in the equity shares of Balaji Telefilms Ltd for acquiring 2.52 crore equity shares constituting 24.92 per cent, Reliance Industries said in a BSE filing.
●    In a separate filing, Balaji Telefilms said its board today considered and approved an investment by RIL through a preferential issue of 2.52 crore equity shares at ₹164 each, aggregating to ₹413.28 crore.
●    The Mumbai-based media and entertainment firm said proceeds from the transaction would be utilised to further speed up content development initiatives, especially for its over-the-top content platform ALTBalaji, to help it compete with other global and India OTT service providers.
●    The decision is, however, subject to Balaji Telefilms shareholder and other approvals.
 

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Important Current Affairs 21st July 2017

Important Current Affairs 21st July 2017

Current Affairs 21st July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Inaugurates Round Table Conference Ensuring Cyber Security on Indian Railways

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated Round Table Conference on “Ensuring Cyber Security on Indian Railways”. 
●    Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital and other Railway Board Members and senior officials were also present on the occasion.
●    Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Indian Railways is striding ahead on its mission of transformation. 
●    A lot of upgradation, modernisation & maintenance of Railways has been taken up in last three years & these processes involve use of technologies. 
●    Indian Railways has recently launched Rail Cloud Server, Rail Saarthi App, work for developing E.R.P. is also underway. With the exhaustive use of technologies, there are high chances of vulnerability.  
●    Indian Railways keeps conducting audits to ensure safety checks. Cyber Security is one of the top priorities. 
●    Therefore, idea of this roundtable is to bring all stakeholders on one platform to ensure that these discussions becomes effective results for cyber security.
●    During the discussions, ideas were exchanged on Cyber threats, Security incidents and Advanced solutions. 
●    The discussions helped in understanding the issues involved and create better awareness among all stakeholders. 
●    It also helped to provide effective solutions to deal with the Cyber Security threats to IT Systems on Indian Railways.


PPAs signed for first Wind Auction totalling 1050 MW 


Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal presided over the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for purchase of 1050 MW of wind power under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)’s first Wind Auction Scheme here today. 
●    The PPAs were signed between PTC India Ltd., the trading company, and the successful wind power developers.
●    As per the PPAs signed, Mytrah Energy, Inox Wind and Ostro Kutch Wind Pvt. Ltd. would supply wind power of capacity 250 MW each. 
●    Further, Green Infra would supply 249.9 MW and Adani Green Energy 50 MW from their wind power projects through inter-state transmission system at a tariff of Rs. 3.46 per kWh discovered through the open and transparent competitive bidding process. 
●    PTC India has tied-up this wind power for sale to DISCOMS of a number of States. 
●    Under this, Uttar Pradesh would get 449.9 MW, Bihar 200 MW, Jharkhand 200 MW, Delhi 100 MW, Assam 50 MW and Odisha 50MW for meeting their Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

Union Government launches Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 21 July 2017 formally launched the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY). 
●    PMVVY is a pension scheme announced by the Union Government exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above. 
●    The scheme is available from 4 May 2017 to 3 May 2018.
●    The Scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme.
●    The scheme provides an assured return of 8 per cent per annum and is payable monthly for 10 years.
●    The pension is payable at the end of each period during the policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-yearly/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner.
●    The scheme is exempted from Service Tax or GST.
●    In case of the survival of the pensioner till the end of the policy term of 10 years, the purchase price along with final pension instalment will be payable.

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana for poors: Interest free loans on e-rickshaws, three-wheelers

The Union Ministry of Rural Development on 20 July 2017 announced that it will launch a new sub-scheme Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
●    The Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana aims to provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) under DAY-NRLM by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas.
●    The sub-scheme will provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services like e-rickshaws, 3 and 4 wheeler motorised transport vehicles to connect remote villages with key services and amenities including access to markets, education and health for the overall economic development of the area.
●    The Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana will be implemented in 250 blocks in India on a pilot basis for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
●    The States have been informed about the number of blocks allocated to them to take up this sub-scheme in the pilot phases.
 

Current Affairs 21st July 2017: WORLD NEWS

Qatar issues decree to amend law on combating terrorism

Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, issued a decree on 20 July 2017, amending some provisions of a law on combating terrorism.
●    The decree establishes two national lists for individuals and terrorist entities and states out the requirements for being included on them.
●    The decree includes definitions for terms such as terrorist, crime, terrorist acts, terrorist entities, freezing of funds and financing of terrorism.
●    It also identifies procedures related to some terrorist activities.
●    The decree also states that individuals and entities accused of terrorist activities have the right to challenge the charges lodged against them before the court.
 

Current Affairs 21st July 2017: SPORTS NEWS

Harpreet's scored unbeaten 171. 

Indian women cricket team vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur with her unbeaten knock of 171 off 115-balls helped India to storm into finals of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup of Cricket. 
●    To reach the finals of the world cup, India defeated the Australian women’s team by 36 runs at Derby in England on 20 July 2017.
●    Harmanpreet hammered 20 fours and seven towering sixes during her blistering knock at the strike rate of 148.69, which is next only to New Zealand’s Suzie Bates’ 160.00 (she scored 168 against Pakistan in 2009).
●    With this score, she also bettered her previous ODI best score of 107 runs. Harmanpreet’s blistering century of unbeaten 171 runs is the third highest individual score by any player in the world cup and fifth highest overall.

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Important Current Affairs 20th July 2017

Important Current Affairs 20th July 2017

Current Affairs 20th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Inaugurates International Technical Seminar on Global Trends in Track Technologies & fast paced construction organised by Institution of Permanent Way Engineers


Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Inaugurated an International Technical Seminar of the Institution of Permanent Way Engineers (I.P.W.E)(India) today i.e. 20th July, at New Delhi. 
●    The topic of the seminar was Global Trends in Track Technologies and Fast Paced Construction. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital, Member Engineering, Railway Board Shri Aditya Kumar Mital and other Railway Board Members and senior officials were also present on the occasion.
●    15 speakers including International experts spoke on systems of High Speed Rail viz. Japanese “Shinkansen”, SNCF (France) and Spain High Speed Rails(HSR) besides history of  track managements systems, track components, rail fasteners etc.  and technological standards adopted on HSR.  
●    The seminar was organised in four sessions viz. Global Trends in Track Technologies Session I & Session II, Fast Paced Construction Session III & IV. 
●    The Technical Session also covered Technologies for Fast Paced Construction, Project Delivery Methods in countries like Japan, Austria, USA besides the methods being adopted by track engineers in the on-going Dedicated Freight Corridor besides mechanised track laying machines. 
●    Shri Prabhu also released the Business Plan of Engineering Department of Indian Railway, a RDSO handbook on Construction of Earthquake resistant engineering besides launching Diploma in Engineering by IPWE in keeping with Skill Development Mission of Indian Railways.


Union Steel Minister launches dedicated E-Portal for online sales of steel products in North Easetrn Region 


Union Steel Minister Shri Birender Singh today launched a dedicated e-portal for online sales of steel products by RINL through MSTC Metal Mandi, in North Eastern Region of the country. 
●    Minister of State for Steel, Shri Vishnu Deo Sai, Secretary, Steel, Dr. Aruna Sharma, CMD, RINL, Shri P.Madhusudan and CMD, MSTC Shri B.B.Singh were among those present on the occasion. 
●    In his address Shri Birender Singh remarked that the E-Portal is an excellent example of synergy between ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ missions initiated by Hon’ble Prime Minister. 
●    He further added, “In February this year, when we set up a coordination committee for pooling of resources between PSUs, we had potential for projects like this in mind. 
●    I am happy that this project is being started and it should serve as an example for more such innovative and out-of-the-box projects. 
●    The Ministry had organized first regional conference for enhancing steel consumption in North-East. 
●    The region is being given top priority by our Government and lot of new projects are being started and executed there. 
●    Our steel companies must tap this market and serve their steel needs. Let us try to find out more such areas where our PSUs can work together for achieving economies of scale, reaching new markets and sharing of best practices.”


Ministry of Rural Development to launch Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana 


The Ministry of Rural Development will launch a new sub-scheme under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) which will be named as “Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY)”. 
●    Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Ram Kripal Yadav said that the main objectives of AGEY are to provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) under DAY-NRLM by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas. 
●    This will provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services like e-rickshaws, 3 and 4 wheeler motorised transport vehicles to connect remote villages with key services and amenities including access to markets, education and health for the overall economic development of the area.
●    The Minister said that the sub-scheme will be implemented in 250 blocks in the country on a pilot basis for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. 
●    The States have been informed about the number of blocks allocated to them to take up this sub-scheme in the pilot phases. 
●    One of the options proposed to be given under the sub-scheme is that the Community Based Organisation (CBO) will provide interest free loan from its own corpus to Self Help Group member for purchase of the vehicle.


Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership 

Project for setting up of the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) in India was sanctioned during September, 2010 with a proposal for construction in phases. 
●    The construction activities of Phase-I buildings have been completed and the construction activities for the next phase is being taken up. 
●    The facility is operational in the buildings completed in Phase-I. 
●    Setting up of the facility is being done indigenously by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). 
●    This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.


Lok Sabha passes Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill, 2017


The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT-PPP) Bill, 2017 to allow 15 IIITs established on a PPP model to grant degrees and get statutory status.
●    The bill also seeks to grant institute of national importance status to IIITs on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).
●    The Union Government had initiated the opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are already operational. 
●    These engineering and tech schools were established at a cost of Rs. 128 crore each. 
●    The centre had contributed 50% of the amount, states 35% and private partners remaining 15% (i.e. 50:35:15 ratio). 
●    However, these institutes were not been eligible to grant degrees.

Ram Nath Kovind elected as 14th President of India with huge margin

NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind on 20 July 2017 won the Presidential elections. 
●    With this, he becomes the 14th President (in person) of India. 
●    He won the presidential election by defeating the opposition candidate Meira Kumari by 1086 votes.
●    In an electoral college, Ram Nath Kovind secured 2930 votes valued 702044, while, Meira Kumari managed to get only 1844 votes valued 367340.
●    The victory of Ram Nath Kovind was announced by Lok Sabha Secretary General and Returning officer Anoop Mishra.
●    The counting of the votes for the Presidential election was done at the Parliament House complex.  The results were declared after 8-round counting of the votes.
●    President elect Ram Nath Kovind will be administered oath of office by Chief Justice of India on 25 July 2017 in a special function at the Central hall of Parliament.


UIDAI launches mAadhaar app for syncing Aadhaar data on mobile phone

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on 19 July 2017 launched the mAadhaar app for syncing Aadhaar data on the mobile phone, a move that will negate the need to carry the Aadhaar card in wallets.
●    At present, the mAadhaar app is only available on Android phones and can be downloaded on the Google Play Store.
●    Once you register in mAadhar app, your Aadhaar card profile including phone number, address and other details get stored on the app.
●    The app let users share their Aadhaar profile and data with third-party applications through NFC, QR codes, Barcodes or even through email.
●    In order to share details, there is a sharing of QR code and eKYC data by Aadhaar Number holder system.
●    Before downloading the Aadhaar app on Android phone, users need to make sure the mobile number on the smartphone is the same as the one linked to Aadhaar card.

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Important Current Affairs 19th July 2017

Important Current Affairs 19th July 2017

Current Affairs 19th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Environment Ministry Approves Projects for Climate Change Adaptation in Three States 


The Environment Ministry today approved three projects for climate change adaptation in three states. 
●    The National Steering Committee on Climate Change (NSCCC), under the Chairmanship of Secretary MoEF&CC, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, approved the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) submitted by Governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Sikkim for funding under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).
●    Current projects address a range of climate change vulnerabilities in the States which are not addressed under the ongoing schemes of the Central and State Governments. 
●    In Rajasthan, the project builds on work carried out under Phase I of the Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan to enhance the adaptive capacity of villages by making them self-reliant in terms of water requirement. 
●    The project in Gujarat seeks to enhance the adaptive capacity of natural resource dependent communities to climate change in targeted villages of Kachchh district. 
●    In Sikkim, the project aims to address the issue of water security which are directly identified as climate resilience building interventions under the SAPCC.

Allotment of temporary COCO Outlets to SC, ST & Women Beneficiaries 


The allotment letters of temporary COCO outlets to SC, ST & Women beneficiaries was presented by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri. Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister for Tribal Affairs, Shri. Jual Oram & Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan at a ceremony held at Constitution Club of India, New Delhi today.
●    This initiative undertaken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is part of a slew of initiatives to take forward the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi of creating an inclusive India of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's dream. 
●    This initiative aims at making a positive difference in the lives of the poor, marginalized and lesser privileged sections of the society as envisioned by Dr B.R. Ambedkar.
●    The amendment to the scheme of divestment approved by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, last year, envisages allotment of temporary COCOs to pending SC, ST Letters of Intent Holders (LoI) and Widows and unmarried women, who are above 40 years of age without earning parents

 Haryana to launch Saksham Haryana Campaign


The Haryana government has decided to launch an intensive campaign to increase the quality of education and employability of youth in the state. 
●    The campaign will run as a mass movement called ‘Saksham Haryana’ and to support and facilitate this, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has set up a 'Pratibha Vikas Prakosht' in his office. 
●    This decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister with the Departments of Education and Skill Development and Industrial Training here today. 
●    The Prakosht will work in close coordination with Department of Higher Education, School Education, Technical Education and Skills and Industrial Training. 
●    The objective is to achieve 80 per cent grade level competencies in schools and provide two lakh jobs to the youth of the state over the next two years. 
●    The chief minister said the Prakosth would work in mission mode taking end-to-end view on students’ learning during all three stages of a student right from primary or school education to skill development and higher education. 
●    It will be executed at mass level involving political leadership and state machinery. 

Current Affairs 19th July 2017: INTERNATIONAL RELATION

India did agreement with Russia for 200 Kamov helicopters


India has made a billion dollar deal for Kamov helicopters. Under this deal, India will get 200 Kamov helicopters, most of which will be built in India. 
●    Viktor Nikolayevich Kladov, a senior official of Russian Defense Products Company Group Rostake Corp. and its International Cooperation and Regional Policy Department, said that the joint venture was registered in India in May.
●    The price of Kamov light-utility choppers to be built in India is coming out to be almost 2.5 times the cost of the 60 such helicopters that would be built in Russia and supplied to the Indian Army and Air Force, for operations in high altitude areas such as Siachen and Ladakh.
●    The issue over price and transfer of technology are slowing the deal which the armed forces require urgently to be completed to replace their vintage fleet of Cheetah and Chetak choppers for critical operations.
●    Under a Indo-Russian governmental agreement, India is buying 200 Kamov 226 T helicopters of which 60 would be built in Russia and supplied directly to the forces while the remaining 140 would be manufactured in a joint venture between Kamov and HAL along with a private sector partner.

Pakistan court lifts ban on airing of Indian teleplays


A Pakistani court today lifted a ban imposed by the country's media watchdog on airing of Indian teleplays calling it "unreasonable" restrictions. 
●    The Lahore High Court declared the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's (Pemra) ban on airing Indian teleplays null and void after the federal government told the court that it has no objections on Pakistani private TV channels telecasting Indian TV shows.
●    Although Pemra's ban on the airing of Indian films on television channels was lifted in February, permission to air teleplays or television dramas was not granted. 
●    The petitioner's counsel Asma Jehangir argued in court today that a ban on Indian teleplays appeared strange while Indian films were being openly aired.
●    LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said the Indian content with objectionable or anti-Pakistan content could be censored but there was no need for a complete ban. 

Current Affairs 19th July 2017: AWARDS 

President of India Presents ‘Pranab Mukherjee Award for Academic Excellence’ 

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the ‘Pranab Mukherjee Award for Academic Excellence’ to Shri Aman Aggarwal for scoring the highest aggregate in Class XII CBSE Examination, 2017 among the students of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya located in the President’s Estate today (July 19, 2017) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.  
●    On the occasion, Both the ‘Omita Paul Award for Academic Excellence’ for scoring highest aggregate marks amongst girls in Class XII CBSE Examination, 2017 as well as the ‘Kunjannamma Mathew Award’ for Academic Excellence’ for scoring highest marks in Mathematics amongst the girls in Class XII CBSE Examination, 2017 were presented to Kumari Muskan Sharma by Smt. Omita Paul, Secretary to the President and Dr. Thomas Mathew, Additional Secretary to the President respectively. 
●    Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated the award winners and urged them to strive for excellence in every walk of life.  Referring to a poem by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the President said that students must always remember that service is joy.  
●    The President stated that he cherished the occasions when he had taken a class of young students of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya on Teachers’ Day during the last two years.  
●    Children are the future of the nation and when he looked at their bright faces and gleaming eyes he felt confident that they will take the country in the right direction in future.  
●    He said that they would get a chance to serve this great country in various walks of life.   
●    Though a vast and diverse country, India has an underlying unity.  He said that he was sure that the children would meet the expectations of their parents, friends and neighbours.

Current Affairs 19th July 2017: WORLD NEWS 

US Navy tests world’s first Laser Weapons System

The United States Navy has successfully tested the world’s first-ever active Laser Weapons System (LaWS), which is now deployed, all ready for any sort of attack on the Persian Gulf.
●    The LaWS has been deployed aboard the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship. 
●    In the test, the system was able to destroy a drone in flight and moving targets in the Persian Gulf. 
●    With its addition, USS Ponce becomes the first ship in the world to be deployed with such an advanced weapons system.
●    The weapon is capable of moving at the speed of light, around 50,000 times faster than an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
●    It operates in an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum so the beam is not visible.
●    The weapon is also completely silent and remarkably precise, which could help limit collateral damage during wartime.

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Important Current Affairs 18th July 2017

Important Current Affairs 18th July 2017

Current Affairs 18th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

MoU Signed Between Department of Defence Production and GSL 


Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), a miniratna Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financial year 2017-18, here today. 
●    The annual MoU was signed between Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), GSL Rear Adm (Retd) Shekhar Mital.
●    This year’s MoU target for ‘Revenue from Operations’ has been set at     ₹ 1150 crore, which is 43 percent higher than the financial year 2016-17 target of ₹ 800 crore. 
●    Notably in financial year 2016-17, the Shipyard achieved historical high VoP of ₹ 1030 crore and PBT of ₹ 177 crore. GSL was adjudged as ‘Best Performing Shipyard’ by MoD. 
●    Target for PAT to Networth ratio has been set at 13.30 percent.
●    Export target has been set at 28 percent of ‘Revenue from Operations’, which is highest among DPSU Shipyards.

Karnataka government appoints panel to design its own state flag

The Congress-led Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka has constituted a nine-member committee to study the possibility of designing its own ‘state flag’.
●    The panel headed by Principal Secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture is expected to prepare a design for a separate state flag and soon submit a report looking into the legal sanctity of the same to the state government.
●    If the move does get legal sanction then it would make Karnataka the only second state in the country to officially have its own flag after Jammu & Kashmir, which enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.
●    The committee was constituted following representations from Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha president Patil Puttappa and activist Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada from Belagavi.
●    The social activists urged the government to design a separate flag for the state and accord statutory standing for it.
●    Under the constitutional powers of a state, there is no law prohibiting a state from having its own flag.


Smriti Irani replaces Venkaiah Naidu as Information and Broadcasting Minister


Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on 18 July 2017 was given additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
●    The decision was taken following Venkaiah Naidu’s resignation from the post to contest for the Vice-President election as the candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
●    On the other hand, Union Minister of Mines Narendra Singh Tomar has been handed over the charge of the Urban Development Ministry, which was also held by Naidu.
●    Naidu had resigned as the Union Minister on the night of 16 July 2017 after he was named by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its vice presidential candidate against Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the opposition's nominee.

Israel to train Madhya Pradesh farmers in flowers, oranges farming

Israel will soon set up two agriculture excellence centres in Madhya Pradesh in collaboration with the Union government to impart training to farmers growing flowers and oranges, consul general of Israel David Akov, announced on Monday.
●    "A total of 26 agriculture excellence centres are being set up in nine states of the country, while 15 such centres in states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and Gujarat are already operational, 11 more will be developed soon," said Akov while addressing a press conference in the city.
●    In Madhya Pradesh, the two centres will come up at Shyampur in Sehore and Dheripal in Shajapur. 
●    At Sehore, the centre will train farmers in cultivation of flowers, whereas in Shajapur, techniques of growing oranges will be taught.

Current Affairs 18th July 2017: OBITUARY

Martin Landau, the actor who won Oscar for ‘Ed Wood,’ is no more


Martin Landau, the Oscar-winning actor who appeared in films like Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” as well as in the television series of the “Mission: Impossible” in the 1960s, has died. He died on 15 July 2017. He was 89.
●    He died at UCLA Medical Center due to unexpected complications during a short hospitalisation. His death was confirmed by his publicist.
●    He won his Academy Award (Oscars) for his poignant portrayal of washed-up Bela Lugosi in 1994’s Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.
●    Born on 20 June 1928, was an American film and television actor.
●    He began his career as a newspaperman at age of 17 at the New York Daily News as a staff cartoonist and illustrator.
●    At that time, he was studying at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Current Affairs 18th July 2017: SPORTS

Kazan and Budapest to host 2022, 2024 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships


The International Swimming Federation (FINA) on 17 July 2017 announced that the Russian city of Kazan and Hungarian city Budapest have been chosen to host the 2022, 2024 Short Course Swimming Championships respectively.
●    FINA took the decision about the host cities for both events in a meeting at Budapest, the venue of the 2017 World Aquatics Championships.
●    Besides the Russian and Hungarian metropolis, Hong Kong and Taipei City were the two other candidates.
●    On the other hand, the Chinese city of Hangzhou is set to host the Short Course Swimming Championships in 2018, while Abu Dhabi will be the venue in 2020.
●    The International Swimming Federation is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for administering international competition in water sports.
●    It is one of several international federations, which administer a given sport/discipline for the IOC and/or international community.
 

Current Affairs 18th July 2017: PERSONS

Lilly Singh appointed UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador
 

UNICEF today appointed Indian-origin Canadian YouTube star Lilly Singh as its newest Global Goodwill Ambassador at a special event here.
●    Lilly was in the capital to support UNICEF’s Youth4Change initiative, a programme for youth that brings them together to support their peers and communities in taking action on issues such as health, hygiene, child labour and gender equality.
●    “I’m honoured to join UNICEF as a Goodwill Ambassador and to use my voice to support its mission of reaching every child. It’s time to stand for what your kids want and not society,” Lilly said.
●    The YouTuber, famous as ‘Superwoman’, said she would come up with few videos in Hindi and would try to put Hindi subtitles in her English videos to increase the reach of her vlogs and channel.
●    As the UNICEF ambassador Lilly, who has 11.9 around million subscribers on the video sharing website, will use her channel to showcase the organisation’s work and urge millions of her followers to work for children’s rights.


 

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Important Current Affairs 17th July 2017

Important Current Affairs 17th July 2017

Current Affairs 17th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

MoU Signed between Department of Defence Production and BEL 


Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a Navratna Schedule ‘A’ Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financial year 2017-18 with the Ministry. 
●    The annual MoU was signed between Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Chairman and Managing Director, BEL Shri MV Gowtama. 
●    The revenue from operations has been targeted at Rs. 9000 crore. 
●    The Operating Profit to Revenue from Operations target has been set at 14 percent and PAT to Average Networth has been set at 15 percent. 
●    Turnover from exports and increase in indigenous content are given additional focus during the year, along with other parameters like CAPEX investment and Monitoring of CAPEX projects, Reduction in Trade Receivables, and HR related parameters.

Minister of Railways Inaugurates Sindhudurg leg of the Science Express today 


The IX Phase of the prestigious Science Express exhibition train  which is on a Nationwide tour since 17 February 2017 reached Sindhudurg in Maharashtra today i.e. 17 July 2017. 
●    This phase of train is being referred as ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’ highlighting  the global challenge of climate change. 
●    Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Inaugurated this Sindhudurg leg of Science Express today i.e. 17 July, 2017 through Video Conferencing from Delhi. 
●    SECAS is focusing on Climate Change and Science & Technology. 
●    The exhibition conveys message about Climate Change and is also a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion. 
●    This exhibition train will be available for public viewing at Roha Railway Station on 18th July and after that at Mumbai CST from 19 to 22 July 2017, then the train will move forward to next destinations as per its itinerary.

Short Film Competition on Divyangjan Sashaktikaran-2017 


The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt of India is organising  ‘Short Film Competition on Divyangjan Sashaktikaran-2017’ in association with Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India.
●    The competition is being organised in order to create awareness on Accessible India Campaign and to promote various schemes of DEPwD among common masses. 
●    The Department invites entries from common citizens. 
●    The participants may submit their entries shot with any electronic devices in HD format only.    
●    The last date of submission of application is August 8, 2017. 
●    The  applications are invited in three categories viz ‘Short Documentaries’ of  up to  30 minutes duration, ‘Short Films’ of upto 5 minutes duration and ‘TV Spots’ (Television Commercials) of up to 50 seconds.


Indian railways launches Rail SAARTHI app

The Railways today launched an integrated mobile application to cater to various passenger requirements, including ticket booking, inquiry, on-board cleaning and ordering meal on a single platform. The app — Rail SAARTHI — was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. 
●    Currently there are multiple mobile app by the Railways. 
●    To use different services, users need to search and download each application separately.
●    In order to provide better customer experience, there was a need for an integrated application which could give a single window interface for these services, Prabhu said after launching the app. 
●    The Rail SAARTHI (synergised advanced application rail travel help and information) such as safety for women, complaint facility and suggestion for improvement, he said. One can also book air ticket through the app and give feedback.
●    Prabhu also announced a quota facility for differently- abled people in 3AC coach and extending the advance booking period for foreigners to 365 days from present 120 days. 
●    Now a lower berth in a 3AC coach will be reserved for physically-challenged people and the middle for the individual accompanying them.

Current Affairs 17th July 2017: OBITUARY 

Former Sikkim CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari passes away

Nar Bahadur Bhandari, the former chief minister of Sikkim who served the state from 1979 to 1994, died at a Delhi hospital on 16 July 2017. He was 77.
●    He is survived by his wife Dil Kumari Bhandari, a former member of parliament (Lok Sabha) from Sikkim, two daughters and a son.
●    Born on 5 October 1940 at Malbasey in Sikkim, Bhandari was serving a government school as a teacher before joining the active politics.
●    He became the Chief Minister of Sikkim for the first time in 1979 on a Sikkim Janata Parishad ticket, a party founded by him in 1977.
●    In 1984, he dissolved the Sikkim Janata Parishad and formed a new party known as Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP). 
●    In 1885 and 1989, he became Chief Minister of the state on the ticket of SSP. 
●    He remained the President of SSP until his death.

Current Affairs 17th July 2017: SPORTS

Roger Federer lifts record 8th Wimbledon title beating Marin Cilic in Men's singles

Roger Federer on 16 July 2017 won a record eighth Wimbledon title with a straight-sets victory over Marin Cilic. 
●    With this win, 36-year old Federer also became the tournament’s oldest champion.
●    In the finals played in Wimbledon, London, Federer defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.
●    Federer is Wimbledon's oldest men's winner of the modern era, succeeding Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1976.
●    This was his 19th Grand Slam title. This was Swiss superstar's 11th Wimbledon final and 29th title at the majors. 
●    With this victory, Federer also became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

Garbine Muguruza beats Venus Williams to clinch Wimbledon Women’s Singles title

Spanish Garbine Muguruza on 15 July 2017 defeated Venus Williams 7-5 6-0 grab the Wimbledon Women’s Singles title.
●    Muguruza is the second Spanish woman to claim the world’s most important title, joining her current coach Conchita Martinez, who won the title in 1994, on the honour roll.
●    In addition, Muguruza is the only woman in history to have beaten both Serena and Venus Williams in a grand slam final.
●    Garbine Muguruza beats Venus Williams to clinch Wimbledon Women’s Singles title
●    Born on 8 October 1993, Garbine Muguruza is a Venezuelan-born Spanish professional tennis player.
●    She turned professional in 2012.
●    She has won four singles titles, including two majors: the 2016 French Open, and the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.

Current Affairs 17th July 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

MATUNGA IS NOW FIRST ALL-WOMEN STATION

In about a week from now, the Central Railway will hand over Matunga station to women staffers. 


●    Matunga will become the first railway station in the city – and the first station on Central Railway --to be operated by an all-women staff.
●    The station will have over 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, 7 ticket collectors, 2 chief booking supervisors, 5 Railway Police Force personnel, 5 pointspersons, 2 announcers, and a station manager.
●    The man behind the move is DK Sharma, general manager, Central Railway. “It is about empowering women,” said Sharma. “Some of our passenger reservation centres and even ticketing systems for suburban trains are entirely handled excellently by women, so it was decided that an entire station should be handed over to them.”
●    Several women staffers have already been posted at Matunga station, said Sachin Bhalode, senior divisional security commissioner of the Mumbai Division at Central Railways.
●    According to Sharma, if the experiment worked well, they would also deploying all-women crew at other stations on the network.
●    This is not the first time that Central Railway is taking the lead in empowering women. 
●    As far back as 1992, its staffer Mamta Kulkarni became the city’s first woman station master. Kulkarni was posted in Kurla.

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Important Current Affairs 16th July 2017

Important Current Affairs 16th July 2017

Current Affairs 16th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Raipur Airport Ranked First in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey


Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport was once again ranked first in Customer Satisfaction among 49 airports in the country. 
●    Raipur Airport achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index in the latest CSI survey conducted by an independent agency for the period of January-June 2017,  followed by Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun airports which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 respectively.
●    Airport Authority of India makes continuous efforts to improve the services and passenger facilities at its airports, and this has placed it amongst the best service providers in the world. 
●    Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance objectives of AAI which is evaluated through Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by an independent agency commissioned by AAI.  
●    The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, parking, passenger facilities and cleanliness etc. The integrated terminal building of Raipur was inaugurated in 2012. 
●    High level maintenance of infrastructure and passenger facilities, the green ambience, state-of -the- art technology and courteous staff ensuring passenger satisfaction has resulted in Raipur getting this recognition for the third consecutive time in the past two years.


India builds military road to China border


On the near-vertical slopes of the eastern Himalayas, workers are blasting and cutting treacherous rock faces to build a top-priority military asset: a 34-mile road to the country’s disputed border with China.
●    Far away in the capital New Delhi-a six-day journey by foot, road, rail and air-Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office is monitoring their progress as he doubles down on a billion-dollar infrastructure plan in this contested region to strengthen India’s hand against its powerful neighbor.
●    India is accelerating work on strategic roads to be able to move troops and supplies to the border faster and deploy sophisticated weapons if armed conflict breaks out. 
●    China already has extensive infrastructure on its side. “It’s not business as usual,” a senior official overseeing the project said. “We have shifted gear.”
 

Current Affairs 16th July 2017: BANKING

SBI waives charge on IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000


Country’s largest bank SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to ₹1,000 through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions.
●    State Bank of India had been charging ₹5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund transfer of up to ₹1,000. 
●    IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as well as internet banking.
●    “In order to promote small ticket size transactions, SBI has waived off IMPS charges for transfer up to ₹ 1,000,” the bank said while informing about the revised IMPS transfer charges under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
●    For IMPS, charge will be ₹5 along GST for fund transfer in the range of ₹1,000 to ₹1 lakh. 
●    The charge will go up to ₹15 for transactions of ₹1-2 lakh. GST at the rate of 18 per cent is applicable on all financial transactions.

Current Affairs 16th July 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Biggest iceberg broken off in Antarctica

One of the largest icebergs ever recorded has broken free of Antarctica. 
●    A crack in an Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf is responsible for calving the colossal new iceberg, which is roughly the area of Delaware state and the volume of Lake Michigan.
●    Researchers noticed the distinctive rift in Antarctica’s ice in 2010, which has grown rapidly since 2016. 
●    The iceberg calved between July 10 and July 12, researchers said.
●    “Breaking news! The iceberg has fully detached from Larsen C – more details to follow soon,” Martin O’Leary a glaciologist at Swansea University, wrote in a tweet early Wednesday morning for Project MIDAS.
●    A NASA Earth-observing satellite called MODIS was among the first to photograph the colossal ice block freed of Antarctica’s grasp. 
●    It appears the iceberg has largely stayed intact.

Current Affairs 16th July 2017: SPORTS

Mathews steps down as Sri Lanka captain


Angelo Mathews has stepped down as Sri Lanka captain in all three formats, following his side’s 3-2 ODI series loss to Zimbabwe. 
●    Mathews, who called the defeat “one of the lowest points” of his career and said in its aftermath that he would discuss his captaincy future with the SLC selectors, conveyed his decision to the selectors on Tuesday.
●    Mathews has led Sri Lanka in 34 Tests, 98 ODIs and 12 T20Is, having taken the reins at the age of 25, in 2013. 
●    Though Sri Lanka have been modest in limited-overs cricket through the latter half of his tenure, they have, on his watch, tasted rare success in the Test format. 
●    In 2014, Mathews had personally played a pivotal role in the Test series triumph in England. 
●    Last year, Sri Lanka had also whitewashed Australia – a side they had won only one Test against previously.
●    There have also been significant lows under Mathews, however. Sri Lanka’s campaigns in the 2015 World Cup, the 2016 World T20 and the 2017 Champions Trophy were disappointing, and even in the Test format, they suffered two 0-2 whitewashes in New Zealand, and a 0-3 result in South Africa. 
●    All told, Mathews has 13 Test victories to his name as captain, against 15 losses. On the batting front, Mathews had an outstanding 2014, in which he scored 1,317 runs at an average of 87.8, but his form had since fallen away, though his average as captain still remains 50.94. 

Current Affairs 16th July 2017: SPACE SCIENCE

NASA's Juno Mission reveals Jupiter's deep secrets


The first science results from Nasa's Juno Mission were revealed on 25 May 2017 by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
●    Juno captured the images which portray Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant.
●    The images show that both of Jupiter's poles are covered in Earth-sized swirling storms that are densely clustered and rubbing together.
●    Another finding came from Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR) data which indicates that Jupiter’s iconic belts and zones are mysterious as the belt near the equator is penetrating all the way down, while the belts and zones at other latitudes seem to evolve to other structures.

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Important Current Affairs 15th July 2017

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Current Affairs 15th July 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

President of India distributes free LPG connections under PMUY at Jangipur

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee distributed free LPG connections to 11 women under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) at Jangipur in Murshidabad district of West Bengal today (July 15, 2017) in the presence of Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. 
●    With this, the Central Government has distributed 2.5 crore LPG connections under PMUY among the poor and marginalized households across the country since its launch. 
●    The PMUY was launched by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016.
●    Shri Abhijit Mukherjee, MP (Lok Sabha) and Shri Ranjan Mahapatra, Executive Director, Indian Oil, Kolkata were also present on the occasion.


Union Ministers Vijay Goel and Babul Supriyo Flag off 8th Slum Daud in Delhi 


Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports shri Vijay Goel here today flagged off the 8th Slum Yuva Daud with shri Babul Supriyo, MoS Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise, shri Ramesh Bidhuri MP and Basketball players Divya, Prashanti, Akanksha and Pratima (prominently known as Singh Sisters). 
●    Today’s run started from Qutub Minar and ended at Govt. Boys & Girls School playground, Mehrauli. 
●    More than 3000 youth from Delhi slums participated and cheered by Babul Supriyo with songs before the run. 
●    Addressing the participants shri Goel said that this is not just any other run but we are running for a better tomorrow, a New India where each youngster utilizes his/her skills for nation building. 
●    Shri Babul Supriyo gave a thumbs up to the Sports Ministry’s initiative of Slum Yuva Daud and called it “innovative step” to tap young talent.

J P Nadda launches the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22) 


Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22) at a function, here today. 
●    The Strategic Plan gives year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next 5 years. 
●    Speaking at the launch, Shri Nadda said that the government would like to eliminate malaria by 2027 and urged the states for active cooperation. 
●    He further stated that the programme has to be owned by the states. Dr.Jagdish Prasad, DGHS, Shri R.K.Vats, Additional Secretary & Director General and Acting WHO Representative to India Dr. Suchaxaya Prakin were also present at the launch function. 
●    Recalling the launch of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) last year, Shri Nadda stated that NFME outlined India’s commitment for eliminating malaria by 2030. 


India tops global index of countries with the most confidence in their government

The latest edition of the OECD's Government at a Glance report states that 73 per cent Indians have faith in the Narendra Modi led NDA coalition, the highest in the world.
●    India is followed by the Canadian government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which has the confidence of 62 per cent citizens. 
●    Turkey, which witnessed a failed coup attempt in 2016, is in third place with 58 per cent of the populace placing its trust in the Erdogan government. 
●    Russia and Germany rounded off the top 5, with confidence levels at 58 per cent and 55 per cent respectively.
●    On the other hand, the United States government led by President Donald Trump secured only 30 per cent of the peoples' confidence. In the United Kingdom, which is in the midst of a bitter 'Brexit' following a divisive referendum last year, trust in the Theresa May government stands at 41 per cent, the report collated by the OECD said.
●    The recent impeachment of President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal has reduced confidence in the South Korean government to 25 per cent.

Govt empowers Army to procure weapons systems:

In a major decision, the government has empowered the Army directly to procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain combat readiness for short duration "intense wars", a top government official said on Wednesday.
●    The move, aimed at filling the "voids" in the Army's combat readiness, comes amid nearly a month-long standoff between the armies of India and China in the Dokalam area as well as heightened Indo-Pak tension along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
●    According to the decision by the government, the Vice Chief of Army has been given the "full" financial powers to procure ammunitions and spares for 10 types of weapons systems and equipment after an internal review found that optimum level of "war stores" were not being maintained, the official, who is privy to the development, said.
●    The official spoke on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
●    The official said the financial power vested, depending on the budgetary support available, to buy the complete range of weapons system may translate into Rs 40,000 crore.


India tops list of countries plagued by spam calls: Truecaller

In India, telcos and telemarketing accounted for a major chunk of the spam calls at 54 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.
●    Troubled by spam calls from banks offering loans or rival operators doling out more data coaxing you to switch? You are not alone. 
●    India tops the list of countries most affected by spam calls, says a report. According to phone directory app Truecaller, India is ahead of countries like the US, Brazil, Chile and South Africa with an average user receiving over 22 spam calls a month. 
●    Compared to this, customers in the US and Brazil get about 20 spam calls a month, while in Kenya the average is about seven calls, Truecaller said in a report.
●    “On a deeper dive, we found that there are common categories that tie all these spam calls together. 
●    These would be operator, debt collection, bank, political, health, spam, telemarketing, financial service, scam and insurance,” it added. In India, telcos and telemarketing accounted for a major chunk of the spam calls at 54 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.”
●    Many of these operators are seeking to provide special offers for free data, or unlimited calls.

Current Affairs 15th July 2017: Space Science

Saraswati, a supercluster of galaxies, discovered by Indian scientists

Discovery of a previously unknown supercluster of galaxies, Saraswati, was reported by a team of Indian scientists. Saraswati, the supercluster of 43 galaxies, is located in the direction of constellation Pisces.
●    This supercluster is one of the largest known structures in the nearby universe and is located some four billion light-years away from our planet, the Earth. It may contain the mass equivalent to over 20 million billion suns.
●    The Saraswati supercluster was estimated to have a mass of 2 x 1016 (twenty thousand trillion) suns. It has the capacity of containing thousands of suns along with billion of stars, planets, gases, dark matter and other bodies. 
●    Saraswati is estimated to be stretched over 650 million light years in distance.
●    The discovery is rare because just four or five such superclusters in the entire universe are known till date like ‘Shapley Concentration’ or the ‘Sloan Great Wall’. Superclusters, a group of clusters of galaxies, are the largest structures of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies in the universe.


Current Affairs 15th July 2017: Days & Dates


World Youth Skills Day 2017 observed globally

The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) was on 15 July 2017 observed globally. 
●    The day is observed to create more awareness about training and the development of skills for the youth of today, in hopes of creating a better opportunity for them when it comes to employment.
●    This year, the United Nations along with WorldSkills.org organised campaigns #SkillsForAll and #WYSD to raise awareness about the importance of youth developing skills.
●    #SkillsForAll campaign was aimed at creating awareness that everyone should have the opportunity to discover and develop their talents. 
●    Through skills individuals, communities, and countries can create a more prosperous future.

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