INTERNATIONAL

Cuba Becomes First Nation To Eliminate Mother-To-Child HIV
World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced Cuba has become the first country to eliminate the transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and syphilis from mother to baby. Over the past five years, Caribbean countries have had increased access to antiretroviral drugs as part of a regional initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission.


Iran and P5+1 Countries Reached Agreement On Iran’s Nuclear Programme
Iran and P5+1 countries comprising of the United States, the United Kingdom (UK), Russia, China, France and Germany on 14 July reached an agreement on the Iran nuclear programme. The agreement called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement was reached after 17 days of almost uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna (Austria) involving foreign ministers of seven countries.


Japan Pledges $6 billion To Mekong Nations
Japan on 4 July committed 6.1 billion US dollars (750 billion Japanese Yen) in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Mekong Region countries for the next three years. The decision was taken by Japan during the seventh Mekong-Japan Summit held in Tokyo. The Mekong region countries include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.


Japan’s Lower House Approved Change To Self-defence Law
Lower House of Japan’s Parliament (Diet) on 16 July approved 11 security-related bills that change the self-defence law, which was followed by Japan since World War -II.The change paves the way for the Japanese military to potentially fight abroad for the first time since World War II.


EU approves 7 Billion Euro Short-Term Loan To Greece
The European Union (EU) on 17 July approved a short-term loan of 7.16 billion euros to Greece after it was backed by the 28 member states. This loan will allow Greece to pay its debt to European Central Bank (ECB) and the Inter-national Monetary Fund (IMF) till new bailout plan is ratified. The loan will be given through the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) which is a rescue fund set up during the first time bailout of Greece in 2010. But presently it covers the whole of the 28 EU member nations and not just the 19 eurozone members.


INDIA & WORLD 

India-Uzbekistan Signed Three Agreements
India and Uzbekistan have signed three agreements during delegation level talks held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan on 6 July 2015. The agreements were signed in the field of tourism, culture and protocol.


India – Pakistan Become Permanent SCO members
India and Pakistan on 10 July were accepted as the full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a six-member regional grouping, including China and Russia. India that has had on the observer status of the group for past 10 years will become a full member of SCO by 2016.


India Ranked 33rd ‘Most Reputable Nation In The World’
Canada has been named as the most reputable nation in the world, in a recent survey on how countries are perceived across the world.The north American country reclaimed the top spot in the Reputation Institute’s annual report, which looks at the government, environment and economy of 55 nations.India is ranked 33rd among 55 countries as far as its reputation perceived by people from across the world is concerned. Its reputation has increased by 7.4%.


India – Singapore Signed Agreement On Maritime Cooperation
India and Singapore signed Technical Agreement (TA) on sharing white-shipping information to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies. The agreement was signed on 21 July.


India and US signed Inter-Governmental Agreement
India and United States (US) signed Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on FATCA was signed by Indian Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and the US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on 9 July in New Delhi. The agreement will promote transparency on tax matters between the two countries.


NATIONAL

PM Narendra Modi Launched ‘Digital India Week’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 July launched the ‘Digital India Week’ in New Delhi. The newly created week is aimed at encouraging people’s involvement and creating awareness among them about various initiatives launched under the Digital India Programme launched in August 2014.


Union Cabinet Approved Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana
Union Cabinet on 1 July approved Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) aiming at providing irrigation facilities to every village. The Yojana was approved with an outlay of 50000 crore rupees over a period of five years, that is, from 2015-16 to 2019-20 and the allocation for the financial year 2015-16 has been kept at 5300 crore rupees.


PM Narendra Modi Launched Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 July launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana in New Dehi.The programme aims to impart skill training to 24 lakh youth during 2015-16 with focus on first time entrants to the labour market and class 10 and class 12 drop outs.


Prime Minister Unveiled National Policy for Skill Development & Entrepreneur ship 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 July unveiled National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 in New Delhi.The policy was unveiled in a programme held on the occasion of first-ever World Youth Skills Day. It is the first such policy on entrepreneurship since independence and intended to replace the National Policy on Skill Development 2009.


India signed Loan Agreement of $300 Million with ADB For NUHM
India on 28 July signed a loan agreement of 300 million US dollars with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its flagship programme National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). The main of the NUHM is to improve the health status of the country’s urban population.


STATES

Adani Group To Set Up 650 MW Solar Power Plant in Tamil Nadu
Adani Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tamil Nadu Govern-ment to set up 650 Mega Watt (MW) solar power plant in Ramanathapuram district. The group will set up five solar power units at a cost of 4,536 crore rupees.


Uttar Pradesh Tops List of States with Highest Mobile Penetration
Uttar Pradesh has highest number of households with a mobile phone (86.63 per cent). In other hand Odisha (33.56 per cent) has the least number of households with a mobile phone as per the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011.


Asia’s First Armed Forces Preparatory Institute For Women
Asia’s first ever institute to train young women to join armed forces Mai Bhago Armed Forces Preparatory Institute was inaugurated by the Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Mohali, Punjab on 25 July. With 25 girls being selected, the one-of-its-kind institute will equip students with skills required in army, navy and air force.


India’s First Railway-Line Built Under PPP model Inaugurated In Gujarat
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu on 14 July inaugurated the broad-gauge railway-line between Gandhidham and Tuna-Tekra Port in Gujarat by flagging off a goods train.The rail line is India’s first railway-line built with private sector participation under Non-Government Railway (NGR) Policy 2012 of Indian Railways.


CONFERENCES

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit 2015
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) 2015 summit was held on 9-10 July 2015 in Ufa, Russia. Leaders and officials from the four SCO observer countries of Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India were also present at the summit. India has been accorded full accorded the full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at its Ufa summit Technically, India will become the member of SCO by 2016 after completion of certain procedures. The SCO group has six full time members at present namely China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


46th Indian Labour Conference
The 46th Session of Indian Labour Conference was held on 20 July in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 46th Indian Labour Conference dedicating the National Career Service (NCS) the largest nationwide portal for job matching in dynamic and efficient manner and launching of ESIC 2.0, the second generation health reform agenda for the numerous employees nationwide.


AWARDS & HONOURS

Sanjeev Galande Selected For G D Birla Award 2014
Noted scientist Sanjeev Galande has been selected for the prestigious G D Birla award for2014. He was selected for his pioneering research in the field of epigenetics and molecular cell biology. The name was on 1 July announced by the K K Birla Foundation and he is the 24th recipient of the award.


Ravi Shankar Conferred with Peru’s Highest Award ‘Grand Officer’
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was on 1 July conferred with Peru’s one of the highest awards ‘Grand Officer’ for social work and mission to deliver peace through his foundation The Art of Living. Andean Parliament in Lima honoured Sri with the award titled “Medalla dela Integracion en el Grado de Gran Oficial”.


Indian-American Teacher Darshan Jain Named For US Presidential Award
Darshan Jain, an Indian American teacher was chosen for prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. He is one of the 108 teachers named by President Barack Obama as recipients of the prestigious award.


Indian-American Woman Sunita Viswanath Honoured with Champion of Change
Sunita Viswanath,an Indian-American woman has been with Champion of Change award by the White House of United States. Sunita Viswanath, the only Indian American to figure in the list, has been selected for her work to encourage Hindus to take care of the environ-ment.


SPORTS & GAMES

Lewis Hamilton Won 2015 Birtish Grand Prix
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won 2015 Birtish Grand Prix of Formula One (F1) on 5 June. This was his fourth victory of the season and his second of Birtish Grand Prix. With this win, Hamilton became the second British driver since David Coulthard in 1999-2000 to post successive wins in the race.


Wimbledon Tennis Championship 2015 Winners
Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic of Serbia on 12 July won men’s singles title of Wimbledon. In the final clash played in London, Serbian Djokovic defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland. It is Djokovic’s 3rd wimbledon title and overall 12th men’s single
Grand Slam title.
Women’s Singles: Serena Williams (US) won wimbledon women’s singles title. In the final match played she defeated Garbine Muguruza of Spain.It is Williams’ sixth Women’s Singles Wimbledon title and overall 21th Grand Slam title.


India Won 2015 South Asian Basketball Championship
India on 5 July won the South Asian Basketball (SABA) Championship title. In the final played at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, Karanataka, India defeated Sri Lanka 93-44. It was 4th edition of the championships. India was the winner of third SABA Championship.With this win India qualified for the FIBA Asia Champion-ship which will be hosted by China in September 2015.


ECONOMY

Corporation Bank Launched First MUDRA card
Corporation Bank on 4 July launched country’s first MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) card under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) in Mangalore, Karnataka. The card is based on the RuPay platform and facilitates the withdrawal and use of the working capital finance by micro entrepreneurs.


RBI signed Special Currency Swap Agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
A Special Currency Swap Agreement was signed between Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bank of Sri Lanka on 17 July.As per this agreement, Central Bank of Sri Lanka can draw up to 1.1 billion US dollar for a maximum period of six months. This special arrangement is in addition to the existing Framework on Currency Swap Arrangement for the SAARC Member Countries.


Seven Indian Companies Among World’s 500 Largest Companies
Seven Indian companies were listed among the world’s 500 largest companies in the Fortune Global 500 list for 2015 that was released on 22 July. The list has been topped by Wal-Mart, which retained its top spot.


Ten Indian Companies In Forbes Asia Fabulous 50 List
The Forbes Asia’s Fabulous 50 list of the year 2015 was released on 23 July. India has secured the second highest position in the Forbes Asia Fabulous 50 list with 10 Indian companies featuring in the list. China secured No 1 position in the list with 25 companies.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA successfully Flight Tested Prandtld Aircraft
NASA announced that it successfully flight tested Prandtl-d aircraft. It was a prototype of Prandtl-d aircraft which will be the first airplane to be launched on Mars between 2020 & 2024. ICGS ‘Rani Durgavati’ Commissioned The Third Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) of the Indian Coast Guard ICGS ‘Rani Durgavati’ was commissioned at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) on 6 July. The vessel, built by HSL, has a maximum speed of 34 knots and at an econo-mical 14 knots has an endurance of 150 nautical miles.


‘GAGAN’ Satellite Based Navigation System Launched
Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on 13 July launched the GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system,which would make airline operations more efficient and reduce costs. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) developed the system, at a cost of Rs. 774 crore, over 15 years. India is the fourth country to offer space-based satellite navigation services to the aviation sector.


India Ranks 12th In World In Nuclear Power Generation
India has been ranked at 12th place in terms of power generation from nuclear source, as per the report published by the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). India also holds 6th position in terms of the number of reactors in operation in the country.


China Successfully Tests 5th Generation Long March Carrier Rocket
Chinese scientists have successfully tested the power system of a Long March-5 carrier rocket scheduled for flight in 2016. The fifth-generation launch vehicle of the Long March family, has entered a run off phase. The rocket will have a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to low Earth orbits, or 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, about twice the current capacity.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

China Nominates Jin Liqun as AIIB president
China on 6 July nominated its former finance Minister Jin Liqun as the Presidential candidate for $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Presently, Jin is Secretary General of AIIB’s interim secretariat.


RS Sharma Appointed as the Chairman of TRAI
IT secretary RS Sharma has been appointed the Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 27 July. Sharma is an IAS officer from 1978 Jharkhand batch and replaces Rahul Khullar, who had retired in May 2015.


Ashish Bahuguna Appointed as Chairman of FSSAI
Ashish Bahuguna, former agriculture secretary, has been appointed as the chairman of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on 27 July. His tenure will be of three years and he succeeded K Chandramouli whose tenure ended in January 2015. Since then the position was lying vacant and the Health Secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma was given the interim charge of chairman of FSSAI.


B). RESIGNS

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis Resigned
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on 6 July resigned from his post after Greeks voted resoundingly to reject the austerity terms of a bailout.


C). DEATHS

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam Died
Former Indian President Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen (APJ) Abdul Kalam passed away on 27 July in Shillong (MeghalayA).He was 83. He was also known as the Missile Man of India. He was born on 15 October 1931 in Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu. He spent four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the DRDO and ISRO. During his tenure as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister from July 1992 to December 1999, he led the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests, which made India a nuclear weapon state. He was the 11th President on India from 2002 to 2007. He has been awar-ded with the coveted civilian awards including Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997).Kalam authored numerous inspira-tional books including India 2020, Wings Of Fire and Ignited Minds.


D). VISITORS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Uzbekistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Uzbekistan on 6-7 July 2015. India and Uzbekistan have signed three agreements during delegation level talks held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov in Tashkent ,the capital of Uzbekistan. During the visit, Narendra Modi released the first Uzbek-Hindi dictionary at the event along with Uzbeki-stan Prime Minister and Indologist Rakhmatov.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Turkmenistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Turkmenistan on 10-11 July 2015. During the visit, Narendra Modi held formal talks with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. The two leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment towards timely implementation of the strategic Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project. In the visit, India and Turk-menistan signed eight agreements to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two nations. During the visit Narendra Modi had unveiled a bust of Gandhi at a traditional medicine and yoga centre in Turkmenistan capital Ashgabat.


E). MISCELLANEOUS

Gennady Padalka Sets Record For Spending Longest Time In Space
Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has set a Guinness World Record for spending longest time in space with a total of 804 days as on July 2015. With this he broke the previous record of 803 days, nine hours and 41 minutes set by Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev (now retired) across six missions from 1998 to 2005.


Guinness Book Recognises Madhya Pradesh’s World Record in Washing Hands
The Guinness Book of World Records has on 3 July 2015 recognised a record created in Madhya Pradesh on ‘World Hand washing Day’ in 2014. The mega hand washing event was held on 15 October 2014 to create awareness about hygiene by washing hands with soap.


PLACES IN NEWS

World’s First 3-D Printed Office To Be Built In Dubai
The world’s first office building constructed using 3-D printer is set to come up in Dubai, UAE. The Office will be approximately 2,000 square feet in size and will be printed layer-bylayer using a 20-foot tall 3-D printer, then assembled on site in Dubai.


Remnants of India’s One of the Oldest Port Discovered In Goa
A team of scientists from Goa based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) on 15 July discovered the remnants of a historically important port on Goa’s Zuari river which is expected to be amongst the oldest signs of human trade on the central west coast.The Port is supposed to be existed between 1000 to 3500 AD which makes it India’s oldest ports.


ABBREVIATIONS

FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

UGC – University Grants Commission

MGNREGA – Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act

SECC – SocioEconomic&Caste Census

CDC – Centre for Disease Control

MUDRA – Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency

AIIB – Asian Infrastructure Invest ment Bank


Books in News

“Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years” Book Released
The book titled Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years was published on 6 July by HarperCollins. It was co-authored by AS Dulat and Aditya Sinha. The book focuses on initiatives launched by the Vajpa-yee government between 1998 and 2004 to restore normalcy in India’s most beautiful but troubled state.


COMMITTEES

Deepak Mohanty Committee To Frame Action Plan On Financial Inclusion
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) formed a committee to work out a five-year (medium term) action plan for financial inclusion. This committee comprises total 14 members and will be headed by RBI executive director Deepak Mohanty. The main aim of this committee will be to review the existing policy of financial inclusion, including customer protection framework and supportive payment system.


Ashwini Nachappa Committee To Study Status of SAI training Centers
The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 8 July 2015 constituted an eight member committee to study status of Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centers across the country. The committee will be headed by former athlete Ashwini Nachappa and includes Pullela Gopi Chand as a member among others.


IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

July-2: World UFO Day

July-11: World Population Day

July-17: World Day for International Justice

July-18: Nelson Mandela International Day

July-26: Kargil Vijay Diwas (Day)

July-29: International Tiger Day

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