INTERNATIONAL

Russia asks 755 US diplomats to leave country following American sanctions

Russian President Vladmir Putin has asked 755 US diplomats to leave the country. The action was taken three days after the US Congress approved sanctions against Russia. Earlier, the US Senate approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election and for its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin in an interview to a Russian TV channel said, more than 1000 people are working at the US embassy and consulates in Russia. He said 755 of them should stop their activities and return.

Four Arab States ready for dialogue with Qatar

The four Arab nations boycotting Qatar have announced willngness to initiate a dialogue with the country, bringing the hope of some sort of resolution to the gulf crisis. The foriegn ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have expressed readiness to engage in a dialogue with Doha if it agrees to some of their demands including showing genuine willingness to stop funding terrorism. The same was revealed by Bahrain’s foreign minister, after a two-meet with his counterparts from the other three nations.

7th edition of SAARC Artists Camp & Paintings Exhibition begins in Nepal

The 7th edition of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings has begun at Kathmandu. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Jitendra Narayan Devhas inaugurated the event. These events provide platform to artists for exchanging ideas with fellow artists and helping in creating special bonding among them and 40 artists from SAARC member countries except Afghanistan taking part in the 4 day camp. The event is organised by Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal and SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

US tests missile-defence system after North Korea missile launch

The United States (US) has tested the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in Alaska by launching a ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. The missile-defence system test came after North Korea conducted an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test. A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was launched by US Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean and the THAAD weapon system detected, tracked and intercepted the target. This was the 15th successful intercept out of the 15 tests carried out for the THAAD weapon system. The THAAD interceptors are meant to help guard the US against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.

China produces natural gas from flammable ice

China successfully produced natural gas from flammable ice, also known as methane hydrate, in an experimental project conducted in the South China Sea. As a part of the experiment, a drilling platform was deployed off the coast of the south-eastern Chinese city of Zhuhai for 60 days. It produced around 309,000 cubic metres of natural gas, which is a record extraction volume from gas hydrate. According to China’s Ministry of Land and resources, China has made a historic breakthrough. The ministry stated that the country has achieved theoretical, technological, engineering and equipment innovations after nearly 20 years of unremitting efforts.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos overtakes Gates to become world’s richest

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man in Forbes magazine’s tracking of wealth, as stock in his e-commerce company hit an all-time high. Mr Bezos, who is also chairman and chief executive of the Seattle-based company, was worth almost $91bn (£70bn) after Amazon’s share price rose more than 1 per cent in morning trading in New York. That put his fortune ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’. The latter has a net worth of around $90.7bn and has been at the top of Bloomberg’s rich list since 2013. But Mr Bezos slipped back into second place later in the day.

BRICS nations sign memorandum to facilitate taxation cooperation

Tax authorities of the five BRICS countries have signed a landmark document to establish a mechanism for taxation cooperation. The BRICS Taxation Cooperation Memorandum, signed at the fifth meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities, is the bloc’s first document that elevates taxation cooperation to the institutional level. The authorities also agreed to cooperate on taxation information exchange, improve consultation procedures efficiency, boost taxation capacities and plan paths for coordination of taxation policies and tax collection. The meeting comes ahead of the 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Fujian province’s Xiamen city from September 3 to 5.

Bolivian President declares ‘Total Independence’ from World Bank & IMF

Bolivia’s President Eva Morales has declared that his nation has achieved “total independence” form the IMF and the World Bank. President Morales declared the news on his official twitter account. The socialist leader published his comments following a meeting with his peers at a gathering in Argentina of the Mercosur, a sub-regional economic bloc.

Trump administration urges NSG members to support India’s application

Donald Trump’s administration has urged other members of the Nuclear Suppiers Group to support India’s membership bid to the elite grouping. The NSG controls international nuclear trade. The US Department of Defence and Department of State said in a report that the United States welcomed India’s application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for membership. It also added that the US has called upon other NSG members to support India’s application.

BRICS Youth Forum opens in Beijing

The 2017 BRICS Youth Forum opened in Beijing, China to discuss the development of the youth in the countries of the grouping. The theme of three-day forum is ‘Enhance BRICS Partnership, Promote Youth Development’. It gathered 50 youth representatives working as civil servants, scholars, entrepreneurs, artists and journalists from the BRICS countries. The five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – first came up with the idea of establishing a dialogue mechanism for BRICS youth in 2014 during a meeting between BRICS leaders in South Africa.

World’s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

The world’s first floating windfarm has taken to the seas in a sign that a technology once confined to research and development drawing boards is finally ready to unlock expanses of ocean for generating renewable power in Scotland. The £200m Hywind project is unusual not just because of the pioneering technology involved, which uses a 78-metre-tall underwater ballast and three mooring lines that will be attached to the seabed to keep the turbines upright. It will bring power to 20,000 homes.

World’s largest supercarrier USS Gerald R Ford commissioned in USA

US Navy commissioned world’s largest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford into the fleet. The commissioning ceremony was held at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia in presence of US President Donald Trump. USS Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in this new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. The ship is named after the 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford and has been built by Newport News Ship Building Company. The massive 1,106-foot-long carrier displaces a staggering 100,000 tons fully loaded and is powered by two new generation nuclear reactors.

UAE Minister tops most powerful Arab women: Forbes

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance has topped a poll of the most powerful Arab women in government for 2017, according to Forbes Middle East. Ms. Qasimi was followed by two women from Egypt – Sahar Nasr, the country’s minister of investment and international cooperation and Ghada Wali, the minister of social solidarity. Forbes has also released a list of the top 100 most powerful Arab business women for 2017, and the UAE represents the highest number of women, with 18, followed by Egypt, with 16. Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, who runs Saudi conglomerate the Olayan Group, tops the businesswoman list. The rankings were compiled by taking into account scope of the role or ministry, years of experience and company revenues, or GDP in the case of government.

Indonesia bans Islamic organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir

Indonesia has banned Islamic organization Hizb-ut Tahrir Indonesia under a contraversial presidential decree. The step has been taken to safeguard the existence of the Island nation’s pluralist state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. The legal status of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which compaigns for the country to adopt Islamic law and become a caliphate, was revoked to protect Indonesia’s unity. On the other hand, the Islamic organization condemned the ban and said it “will not remain silent”, vowing to challenge the decision in court.

Google introduces recruiting app ‘Hire’ for business

Google launched ‘Hire, a recruiting app for small and medium sized businesses that integrates seamlessly with G Suite. The launch of Hire app is seen an apparent move to compete with Microsoft-owned LinkedIn. Hire makes it easy to identify talent, build strong candidate relationships and efficiently manage the interview process end-to-end. It integrates seamlessly with G Suite apps like Gmail and Google Calender that are being used by over three million businesses to drive recruiting efforts.

Indonesia Renames its portion of the South China Sea

Indonesia has named waters in its exclusive economic zone that overlap with China’s expansive claim to the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea. The part of the renamed area falls in China’s “nine-dash line” waters extending hundreds of miles to the south and east of China’s island province Hainan. Several South-East Asian states dispute China’s territorial claims and are competing with China to exploit the South China Sea’s abundant hydrocarbon and fishing resources.

Japan’s men only island gets UNESCO Heritage tag

Japan’s Okinoshima island, an ancient religious site where women are banned, has been declared a World Heritage site by the UN’s cultural body Unesco. Okinoshima is home to the Okitsu shrine, built in the 17th century to pray for the safety of sailors. Before setting foot on the island, men must take off their clothes and undergo a cleansing ritual. When they leave they are not allowed to take away any souvenirs, or disclose details of their visit. 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.

Govt to organise global food fair in Nov to boost food sector

The government of India will organize a global food fair in November 2017 to provide a platform to Indian farmers and manufacturers to showcase their products and explore partnerships with foreign companies. The three-day international level fair ‘World Food India 2017′ is being organized on November 3-5 by the Food Processing Ministry, where industry body CII will be an event partner. The World Food India is a step aimed at creating India a ‘Global Food Factory’ and ‘Global Food Retail Market’. The food processing sector received USD 5.76 billion in FDI equity inflows from 2010-11 to 2015-16. In 2016-17 (April-December), the food processing sector in the country has received USD 663.23 million worth of FDI.

Brazil’s Archaeological Site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO added Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in the World Heritage List. The committee, during its meeting in Krakow, Poland, stated that Valongo is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent. It is located in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and encompasses the whole of Jornal do Comercio Square.

122 Countries adopts historic global treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 members in favour. The Netherlands was the only country who voted against the treaty. Singapore abstained from voting. Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, was the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty. Nearly 129 countries signed up to take part in the drafting of the treaty which represents two-thirds of the UN’s193 member states. Nearly 141 countries led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand drafted the treaty in a hope that the treaty would increase pressure on the nuclear powers to take disarmament more seriously. The treaty would be opened for signature on September 20. It will enter into force once 50 countries ratified it. All of the ratifying countries should never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The treaty also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

European Parliament approves first ever EU-Cuba agreement

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a first-ever cooperation deal between the European Union and Cuba. MEPs in the eastern French city of Strasbourg approved the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in December 2016. With the deal, Cuba joins other Latin American countries with similar agreements with the EU, whose relations with the island had previously been conducted in the so-called Common Position that linked ties to improvements in human rights.


INDIA & WORLD

India, Pakistan to hold talks on hydropower projects under Indus Waters Treaty

India and Pakistan will hold talks on two hydrpower projects, namely Kishenganga and Ratle, under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. Union Water Resources Secretary Amarjit Singh is leading the Indian delegation during the talks. The delegation will include officials from ministries of external affairs and water resources. World Bank Vice President for South Asia resion Annette Dixon – in a letter to the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna – has welcomed the participation of both the countries in the dialogue. The meet at Washington is being held as part of efforts by the World Bank to resolve the issues raised by Pakistan over India’s hydroelectricity projects.

Delhi Metro declared as world’s first green metro

The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) was declared as the owrld’s first green metro after it added a green certification for all its major buildings and installations. Apart from depots and sub stations, DMRC was also awarded the platinum rating for its 10 residential colonies for adherence to green building norms by the IGBC. The declaration was made during National Conference on Green Metro Systems by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The conference was attended by delegates from all other Metro systems in the country.

India, Bangladesh sign pact to connect both countries by waterways

India and Bangladesh have signed a pact to connect both the countries by waterways. The waterways will facilitate movement of passengers and goods between India’s northeast and West Bengal with Bangladesh. Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said in Agartala that infrastructure for the services would be set up along the major rivers in Bangladesh, West Bengal and Brahmaputra in Assam. He said, the services are expected to start by the end of this year.

India ranks 132 in commitment to narrow income inequality

India has ranked 132nd out of 152 countries on the inaugural “Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index” released by international NGO Oxfam in association with Developmental Finance International. Sweden topped the index while Nigeria took the bottom most spot. Sweden is followed by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Germany. Among India’s neighboring countries, China’s rank is 87; Pakistan fared worse than India at 146 while Bangladesh ranked at 148.

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

India-Japan agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy has come into force recently. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Ambassador of Japan to India Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu exchanged diplomatic notes in this regard. The agreement was signed on 11th November 2016 in Tokyo during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between the two sides and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy.

Australia joins International Solar Alliance led by India & France

Australia became the 35th country to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015 in Paris. It is co-led by India and France. The aim of ISA is to support developing countries to boost their solar production capacity. India on its part through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is contributing $1 million to the ISA fund. The larger aim of ISA is to mobilize over $ 1000 billion by 2030 towards promoting solar power on all fronts generation and storage. The solar alliance, whose head office is in India, has grown stronger in the past two years with more countries joining the group and signing the agreement.

India & Sri Lanka sign MoU to develop village in Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka have signed a MoU to develop a village in Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka at a cost of 30 crores Sri Lankan rupees. The village in the name of a famous Buddhist monk Sobitha Thero, envisages construction of 153 new houses, a multi-purpose community building, internal water supply system and renovation of monk’s quarters & library. The project is in line with Government of Sri Lanka’s policy of rehabilitation of rural villages for economic development. It will benefit 153 families residing in the village.

India launches solar project to electrify the remote village of Agaween in Egypt

India has launched a solar project with state-of-the-art technology to electrify a remote village in Egypt. The Solar Electrification Project is an off-grid system that is ideal fr remote locations. The project has been launched at Agaween village in the Western Desert in Matrough Governorate, close to the Libyan border. The project was inaugurated by India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharya and Major General Alla Fathi Abou Zeid, Governor of Matrough. To successfully launch the Solar Electrification Project, India provided all the solar panels and sub-systems, machinery, equipment and technical support, as well as training for technicians. The Egyptian Government provided the location for implementation of the project.

India ranks 116 out of 157 nations on 2017 SDG index

India is ranked 116 out of 157 nations on a global index that assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SDG Index and Dashboards Report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows that world leaders need to strengthen their joint efforts to realise the 17 global goals. India is ranked 116th on the index with a score of 58.1, behind countries such as Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and China. Pakistan is ranked 122. Sweden leads the list, followed by Denmark and Finland. The United States ranks 42nd on the Index, while Russia and China rank 62nd and 71st respectively.

US House of Representatives passes Bill on defence co-operation with India

The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India. India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81. Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law. The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India. The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence. Each year’s NDAA also includes other provisions. The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defense appropriations bills.

India Rise to 96th in FIFA World ranking, Best in Two Decades

India has moved four places up to the 96th position in the FIFA World Ranking released recently. This is the country’s second-best ranking and its previous best was the 94th position in February 1996. India has moved 77 positions up from the 173rd rank on March 2015. The team has now won 13 of its last 15 matches and is unbeaten in the last eight games (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).

India ranked 23rd in second Global Cybersecurity Index

India has been ranked 23rd out of 165 nations in the second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cyber security. The Index has been released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU). India has been listed in the “maturing category” of the index with a score of 0.683. Around 77 countries have been placed in the maturing category as they have developed complex commitments to cyber security and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives. Singapore has topped the index with a score of 0.925. Singapore is followed by United States (2nd), Malaysia (3rd), Oman (4th), Estonia (5th), Mauritius (6th), Australia (7th), Georgia (8th), France (9th), Canada (10th) and Russia (11th). China has been placed at 34th.

India and Israel sign 7 Agreements

India and Israel have signed 7 agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit marks the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between India and Israel.
MoUs between India & Israel are:
MoU for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
MoU for conservation of water in India.
MoU on State Water Utility Reform in India India-Israel Development Cooperation- 3-year work program in Agriculture (2018-2020).
Plan of cooperation regarding cooperation in atomic clocks.
MoU regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link.
MoU regarding cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.

India’s TERI ranked second among world’s climate think tanks

New Delhi-based The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) was ranked second among world’s best climate think tank by the International Centre for Climate Governance (ICCG). TERI was ranked number two under the category ‘2016 Top Climate Think Tanks in the Rest of the World-Absolute Global Rankings’ during ICCG’s 23rd annual conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) in Athens, Greece. ICCG is an internationally-renowned body whose activities focus on the design of climate policy and related governance issues. It rankings helps to highlight the scale and magnitude of work done by the think tanks working in the field of climate change.

Indo-Thai joint military exercise Maitree 2017 begins in HP

A 14-day joint military training exercise between India and Thailand started in Himachal Pradesh. The joint exercise of the Indian Army with the Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district. The aim of this exercise is to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies. ‘Exercise Maitree 2017′ is a continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016. The Maitree series of bilateral exercises has been one of the major defence cooperation initiatives between India and Thailand.

Two Indian-Americans to be honoured with Great Immigrants award

Two Indian-Americans, Adobe Chief Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy are among 38 immigrants to be honoured this year for their role in helping advance the country’s society, culture and economy. Narayen and Murthy will be honoured with the prestigious ‘Great Immigrants’ annual award on US’s Independence day. Murthy, born in the UK and a Harvard and Yale alumnus, was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, becoming the first-ever Indian-American to occupy the post and also the youngest ever surgeon general of the country. Narayen, a native of Hyderabad has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

India contributes Rs. 3 Crores to UN Peacebuilding Fund

India has contributed $500,000 (Rs. 3 Crores) to the UN Peacebuilding Fund, expressing hope that more funding by nations will boost efforts by the world body to build and sustain peace. India has been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception in December 2005 and has so far contributed $5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund. The fund was launched to support activities, actions, programmes and organisations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict.


NATIONAL

Union Govt launches Sagar Vani to alert coastal community

Union Minister of Science & technology Harshavardhan has launched Sagar Vani application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences. The portal was launched with an aim to alert the coastal communities. This Integrated Information Dissemination System (IDS) was developed by ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). It is aimed at disseminating the advisories effectively and timely, directly from the lab to the end user.

Niti Aayog clears six proposals for high-tech public transport

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has approved 6 transport proposals of the transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport. It includes high-tech mass rapid transportation technologies such as metrino, hyperloop, pod taxis, stadler buses, hybrid buses and freight rail road. The proposals of the transport ministry were approved with a condition that the transport ministry conducts trial run of all these technologies and puts in place safety measures before starting operations commercially. Following the go-ahead from NITI Aayog, the transport ministry has formed a six member committee, headed by former top official of Railways, to study safety parameters associated with these technologies and their best global practices.

No immediate arrest under dowry harassment law:SC

The Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest the accused without conducting a preliminary inquiry under dowry harassment cases. With this, the court puts an end to immediate arrests in dowry harassment cases, under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The ruling was made by a bench of Justices A K Goeal and UU Lalit.

National Centre for Seismology launches app ‘India Quake’

Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change has launched an app Inida Quake for Earthquake Parameter Dissemination. The minister launched the application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences in New Delhi. The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) operates national seismological network with 84 stations. These stations are connected to NCS headquarter through Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) for real time data communication.

Union Govt plans to open over 100 new post offices by 2018

The Union government is planning to open 81 sub-post offices and 100 branch post offices during the 2017-18 fiscal year under the “Rural Business & Access to Postal Network” scheme. The same was notified to the Parliament. The Communications Minister, Manoj Sinha in a written reply in the Lok Sabha said that under the scheme, the Department of Posts plans to open 66 new branch post offices during the current fiscal year by creation of new post offices in 32 worst affected Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit districts in the country.

Delhi Govt constitutes State Names Authority

The Delhi government constituted the state Names Authority, a seperate body mandated to name government roads and institutions under the state purview. The State Names Authority (SNA) will be headed by deputy CM Manish Sisodia. While, Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain will be the Vice-Chairman of the Authority. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has gave his approval for the formation of the authority. The authority will have a total of 34 members including the Union home secretary, the Union HRD secretary, the DDA vice-chairman, the Delhi PWD secretary and the Delhi Principal secretary (Home). Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers Rajesh Gupta, Nitin Tyagi, Vishesh Ravi, Sanjeev Jha, Rakhi Birla, Bhavna Gaur and Adarsh Shastri will also be the members of the Authority.

Union Home Minister chairs first meeting of IDA

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA). The Union Home Minister presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He emphasized upon the need for sustainable development of Islands with people’s participation. After detailed consultations with key stakeholders, 10 islands namely Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman & Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep have been identified for holistic development in the first phase. With this meeting, the efforts for holistic development of Islands of India received a major boost.

Right to Education is Right to Quality Education says SC

The Supreme Court quashed the regularisation of 1.78 lakh Shiksha Mitras as teachers in Uttar Pradesh (UP) or not holding adequate qualification as fixed under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. A bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit ruled that their jobs could not be regularised at the cost of fundamental right of children to free quality education by duly qualified teachers. It ruled that Right to Education means to right to quality education. The court held that appointment of Shiksha Mitras was not as per qualification prescribed for a teacher and they could not be regularized as teachers.

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha. The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance 2017, which was promulgated in May 2017.
Provisions of the Bill:
1. It authorises the RBI to direct the banking companies to resolve the problem of stressed asstes.
2. It also allows the RBI to initiate insolvency resolution process on specific stressed assets.
3. It empowers RBI to issue other directions for resolution, appoint or approve authorities or committees to advise the banking companies for stressed asset resolution.
4. The recovery proceedings will be carried out under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 that provides for a time-bound process to resolve defaults.

Union Govt launches SHe-box portal

The union Ministry of Women and Child Development launched an online patform ‘SHe-box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box) to enable women employees of the Central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the work place. The Ministry also instructed officials to make the ‘SHe-box’ portal as interactive as possible. The e-platform will be hosted on the WCD ministry’s website and the complaints will then be taken up with the respective ministries or departments. Once a complaint is registered, it will be forwarded to the concerned ministry or department where the woman works. Initially, only the central government women employees can file complaints through the portal, but later its ambit will include the private sector as well.

Supreme Court asks Centre & States not to protect any kind of vigilantism

The Supreme court of India asked the Union Government and the states not to protect any kind of vigilantism. It alsom sought their response on violent incidents of cow vigilantism. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice M M Shantanagoudar was informed by the Centre that law and order is a state subject but it does not support any kind of vigilantism in the country. The bench also sought the assistance of the Centre and states for removing violent content related to cow vigilantism uploaded on social media. The centre’s response was on a petition filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawala, who in his plea seeks a direction to states and centre to take action against so-called Gau Rakhasks, who profess to protect cows.

Jaitley releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan. The WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was a major milestone for the global trading system. This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and ease of doing business which goes beyond TFA. According to a Finance Ministry statement, all actions covered under the plan have been categorised by prioritising the activities into short, mid and long term.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley 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 payablle at the end of each period during th policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-early/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner. This scheme is exempted form Service Tax or GST.

UIDAI launches mAadhaar app with biometric check

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched new app for Android called mAadhaar. The mobile Aadhaar app lets users carry their Aadhaar information such as name, date of birth, gender, address as well as the photos linking to their Aadhaar card on their smartphones, making it easily accessible when needed. The app is currently only available for Android devices and is available via the Play Store. There is no information on an iOS Aadhaar app so far. For added security, the mAadhaar app also comes with biometric locking/unlocking that should keep users’ personal information safe. There is only a Time-based One-Time Password system (TOTP) that can be used to create a temporary password, which can be used in place of a traditional SMS-based OTP. Users will also see their updated profile after they have successfully filed an update request. They can also share QR codes and password protected eKYC data to retrieve information. UIDAI has noted that the app is currently in beta, and some of the features will be made available in the future via updates.

Cabinet Approvals on 19th July 2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields.
The Cabinet has approved:
MOC in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.
MoU between India and Netherlands on cooperation in space technology.
IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).
Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Revision of Indian Community Welfare Fund guidelines.
Cadre Review of Indian Defence Accounts Service, IDAS.

Smriti Irani gets I&B ministry, Narendra Singh Tomar Urban Development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the Information and Broadcasting portfolio to Smriti Irani, a day after M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was handling the Ministry, was picked to be the NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate. The Urban Development Ministry, which was also being handled by Naidu, has been given to Narendra Singh Tomar. Naidu had resigned from his ministerial responsibilities.

PM Modi to inaugurate APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be inaugurating a memorial for former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam at his birthplace, Peikarumbu near Rameswaram on 27 July 2017. The same was announced by Union Minister of State for Road Transport Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan in Madurai. The minister stated that the Prime Minster will come to Tamil Nadu next week to open the memorial.

Matunga becomes India’s first railway station with All-Women Staff

Central Railway has taken a step towards women empowerment by appointing an all-female work staff at the suburban Matunga station. Matunga station has now become the first such ladies special station. According to the official, women have been manning this station, which falls on the Central Railway, since the past two weeks. A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five RPF personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks. This is not the first time the Central Railway is taking the lead in empowering women. In 1992, its staffer Mamta Kulkarni became the Mumbai’s first woman station master. Kulkarni was posted in Kurla. Currently, the all-women staff at Matunga Railway Station has been handling overall operations of the railway station round the clock. Matunga railway station, which is located in central Mumbai, gets a huge number of student population as a lot of colleges are located in the area.

Railways launches mobile app ‘Rail SAARTHI’

Indian Railways 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 is called Rail SAARTHI and was launched by Railway Minister. The Rail SAARTHI (synergised advanced application rail travel help and information) such as safety for women, complaint facility and suggestion for improvement. One can also book air ticket through the app and give feedback. Railway Minister 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. However, there will be only one such berth in the 3AC coach of a train.

Indian Railways launches RailCloud, NIVARAN & CTSE Scheme

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has launched RailCloud project, NIVARAN-Grievance Portal (First IT Application on Rail Cloud), Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) Scheme and Handing over of 1st CTSE Card.
1. RailCloud: Indian Railway has started a strategic IT initiative, christened IR-OneICT, for enterprise wide digital single platform with an aim to improve customer satisfaction, improve revenue and effective, efficient and safe operations. To achieve the goal of single digital platform for IR a few foundational projects need to be implemented first, establishment of RailCloud is one such project.
2. NIVARAN-Grievance Portal First IT application on RailCloud: ‘NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’ is the first IT application to be launched on the RailCloud. It is the platform for resolution of service related grievances of serving and former railway employees. The existing application was hosted on a conventional server; it has been made cloud-ready and being migrated as the first cloud application of Indian Railways. It will save significant revenue and at the same time user experience will also improve.
3. Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE): Railway provides Comprehensive Health Care Facilities to its beneficiaries through in-house health Institutions, supplementing with referrals to recognized hospitals whenever necessary. The beneficiaries include retired employees and their dependent family members. Large no. of retired beneficiaries lives in the newly developed suburbs of various cities. These parts of the city are often far away from the established Railway Health Institutions. In this scenario the RELHS beneficiaries coming to Railway Health Institutions in routine is acceptable, however in emergency situations, precious time (Golden Hour) is lost in travel.

National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-22 launched by Nadda

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). 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. This plan focuses on the states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The strategies involve strengthening malaria surveillance, establishing a mechanism for early detection and prevention of outbreaks of malaria, promoting the prevention of malaria by the use of Long Lasting Impregnated Nets (LLINs), effective indoor residual spray and augmenting the manpower and capacities for effective implementation for the next five years.

Govt empowers Army to procure weaponry for short intense wars

Tne Union Government empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain cmbat readiness for short duration intense wars. This decision will help the Army to complete the procurement process for such ammunition and equipment in a faster way. The Army vice-chief Sarath Chand has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions. The decision was made after an internal review found that the optimum holding state was not maintaine in a proper way. As part of the decision, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems. Another proposal to allow the Army to procure 20 types of armament and 6 types of mines is also under consideration.

Mithali Raj Creates Women’s Cricket History

Mithali Raj has been India’s premier player ever since she made her debut in 1999. Her exploits in the international stage in both Tests and ODIs have made her India’s premier player. She created a world record by smashing seven consecutive fifty-plus scores, making her the first woman player to achieve the feat. In the crucial game against Australia, Mithali became the woman cricketer who has scored most runs in ODIs. Mithali Raj became the first women’s player to reach 6000 ODI runs. England’s Charlotte Edwards was the previous leading run-getter in ODIs with 5992 runs. 164 – Number of innings that has taken Mithali to achieve this feat. She has 48 not-outs to her name, which is the most in women’s cricket.

Union Govt launches new tax payer service module Aaykar Setu

The Union Finance Ministry has launched Aaykar Setu, a new tax payer service module. The new e-initiative literally means taxpayer’s bridge and will be available in android phones. It compiles various tax tools, dynamic updates, live chat facility and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department (ITD) in a single module. Aaykar Setu has been launched in mobile responsive android application and also in desktop version to enhance mobile access as well as desktop access. This e-initiative aims provide better taxpayer services and also help in reducing the direct physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities.

Prez launches 3 digital initiatives over e-education

President Pranab Mukherjee has launched digital initiatives – Swayam, Swayam Prabha and National Academic Depository – in New Delhi to push e-education in the country. The aim of the initiatives is to raise the Gross Enrollment Ratio in the higher education from 24.5 to 30 by 2020.
Swayam will host courses taught in classrooms from Class 9th to post-graduation, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. It will target those students who could not complete their studies and professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge.
Swayam Prabha is the platform of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting high-quality educational programmes 24X7 using GSAT-15 satellite.
National Academic Depository will facilitate online verification of certificates. All the courses are interactive and available free of cost. Students from various recognised institutes in India will be able to earn credits on clearing these online courses.
He also launched the National Digital Library which containing 6.5 million books.

GST Rates Finder’ App launched by Govt to allow consumers verify accurate tax rate

Ministry of Finance has launched an app – GST Rates Finder to verify the accurate tax rate on commodity and services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the app in New Delhi. Through this app, user can determine GST rate by entering the name of the commodity or service. The search result will list all the Goods and Services containing the name which was typed in the search box. A taxpayer can search for applicable CGST, SGST, UTGST rate and Compensation Cess on a supply. This mobile app can be downloaded on any smartphone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded. The application has been launched on Android platform, and is expected to be unveiled for iOS users shortly.


STATES

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launches Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2 in Mumbai

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minority Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, has launched the Jiyo parsi Publicity hase-2 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. While launching the Phase-2, Naqvi said that Parsi community has immense contribution in nation building and Parsi community has been a “role model” for other communities for its culture and traditions. The Parsi Community has given so many great people who have been ‘architects of nation building”. The main aim of the Jiyo Parsi scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions. The scheme also aims to stabilize their population and increse the population of Parsis in India.

Punjab launches ‘Apni Gaddi Apni Rozgar’ scheme

The Punjab government has recently announced the launch of its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme by flagging off over 100 uber MOTO bikes. Under the scheme, the state government will be providing commercial two wheelers and four wheelers to unemployed youth at subsidized rates. Though Uber will be able to operate easily with in Punjab, but it may not have a smooth ride with in the Chandigarh Central Region. Since Haryana is charging a high entry tax on commercial passenger vehicles entering from Chandigarh and Punjab. Uber and Ola- both have taken up the matter with Monahar Lal led BJP government. The scheme aims to generate job opportunities for youth and providing better mobile transport in Punjab. Uber target is to create 10,000 entrepreneurial opportunities in one year and 45,000 in next five years.

Mumbai Metro launches ‘OnGo’, India’s first mobile ticketing system

Mumbai Metro announced the launch of India’s first Mobile Ticketing System ‘OnGo’ which will help commuters pass the AFC gates using their mobile phones. The system is in the final advanced stage of testing and will be implemented by mid-August. Through the Mumbai Metro App, commuters will be able to buy their token or pass and generate a QR Code which will be used to gain access through the automated fare collection (AFC) gates. Commuters will be able to generate a QR Code through ‘OnGo’ service for current or future journeys upto a week in advance by clicking the mobile app wherein they would pay for their journey.

PM Modi inaugurates Kalam’s memorial in Rameswaram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial at Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on the second death anniversary of the former President. Mr Modi unveils a statue of Dr. Kalam and hoisted the National flag at the memorial. Mr. Modi will flag off Kalam Sandesh Vahini, an exhibition bus which will travel across the country and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on 15th of October, which marks the birth anniversary of the former President. The majestic memorial for the missile man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has been designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organization.

Uttarakhand records second highest tiger count in India

The count of tigers in Uttarakhand shot up 242 with an increase of 63 big cats in the year 2017. the news was announced by Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. In addition, 11 cubs were also found in the two tiger reserves, the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, in the state. While announcing the statistics, the Chief Minister congratulated the forest department for the great work being done for the conservation of tigers and added that in terms of area and tiger population ratio. Uttarakhand is the second state in terms of tiger count behind Karnataka, which has 400 big cats.

Madras HC makes Vande Mataram mandatory in schools, private & govt offices

The Madras High Court ruled that Vande Mataram should be sung in all schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu atleast once in a week and in government and private offices atleast once in a month. while issuing order, Justice MV Muralidharan stated that to instil a sense of patroitism in each and every citizen of Tamil Nadu, the National song ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be played and sung in all educational institutions atleast once a week, preferably on Monday and Friday.

Rajya Sabha passes Maritime Admiralty Bill, 2017

The Rajya Sabha passed the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017. The Bill was presented by the Minister of State or Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya. The Bill repeals laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861 and the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890. The bill was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha in March 2017.

AAI, Uttarakhand Govt ink MoU on Aviation Development

Airports Authority of India (AAI), has signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand and joined hands with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA). The MoU was signed by S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development), AAI. The scope of the MoU is to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand, assessing the commercial potential of various airports of the State, and identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the State.

UP Govt to launch all-women ‘Pink’ AC busses with CCTV cameras

The Uttar Prasedh (UP) Government 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. The presentation in this regard was made before the Union Ministry of Women Child Development 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 busesn owned by the UPSRTC.

Literary Festival themed ‘Tolerance’ to be held in Kerala

At a time when the country witnesses raging debate over intolerance, Kerala is getting ready to host a literary festival with tolerance as the core theme. Creative writers, journalists, theatre and film personalities will deliberate on tolerance at the fifth edition of South India Writers Ensemble (SIWE), to be held at Chengannur, a sleepy town in coastal Alappuza district, from July 24. Organised by People for Performing Arts and More, an art-cum-cultural outfit, the three-day annual literary gathering is aimed at bringing about an enriching interaction between writers from different languages and regions.

Castor plant can reduce soil pollution: Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Hyderabad, Castor bean plants can prove useful in fighting soil pollution. It was found that these plants can absorb toxic heavy metals from soil from these polluted areas due to industrial pollution. The roots, leaves and stem of these plants from the polluted areas contain heavy metals such as lead. It was also observed that these plants accelerate the remediation of polluted soils due to presence of some chemicals in them known as chelators which enhances the capability of the plant to accumulate heavy metals. Castor seed plants are generally known to be one of the sturdiest plants that can grow in areas where the soil is highly polluted, including in areas where mining is carried out. Traditionally, Castor oil (also known as ‘Arandi ka tel’ in Hindi) has been an age old home remedy for a variety of ailments in India.

Kamal Haasan is the brand ambassador of Tamil Thalaivas

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan has been appointed as the brand ambassador of team Tamil Thalaivas in the fifth season of Pro Kabbadi League. Tamil Thalaivas is owned by a consortium of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and businessman N Prasad. The tournament starts from 28 July in Hyderabad.

Prez inaugurates Bicentenary Celebration of Paika Rebellion of Odisha

The President of India Pranab Mukharjee inaugurated the bicentenary celebration of the Paika Rebellion of Odisha organised by the Union Ministry of Culture. The Paika Rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East Inida Company’s rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and, projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity. The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly put down by the company’s forces. The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha. They served as warriors and were charged with policing functions during peacetime.

Odisha CM dedicates longest bridge to nation, names it after Netaji

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated to the nation the state’s longest bridge and named it after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The 2.88 km bridge connects Barang on the outskirts of capital city Bhubaneswar with Judicial Academy Chhak in Cuttack. It reduces the distance between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar by almost 12 kms. Although the construction work of the bridge started after Mr. Patnaik laid the foundation in February 2011, the completion missed the deadline by over three years.

Telangana launches ‘Janahitha’ for speedy redressal of public grievances

The Telangana government launched a special portal called “Janahitha” to receive complaints from the public. The programme was inaugurated in Suryapet district on a pilot basis by Telangana Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy. The portal, which has been developed by Telangana’s IT department is a single window for all grievances and their redressal management. It is aimed at facilitating the public to submit their complaints online and get speedy redressal.

Maha govt revamps scheme for girl child welfare

The Maharashtra government has approved a revised policy of the ‘Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree’ scheme, according to which families who have a yearly income of upto Rs 7.5 lakh will be benefited. The scheme was launched by the state government on April 1, 2016 in place of ‘Sukanya’ scheme. It is aimed at improving the skewed girl child ratio, prevent sex determination and female foeticide, and support female education.

In a first, Telangana to have eco-friendly bridges for movement of tigers

In a first of its kind, the Indian state of Telangana will soom have eco-friendly bridges for easy movement of tigers. The state will have the bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the dforstsrs in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. the inttcention requioires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is camouflaged.

J-K govt launches weekly festival ‘Culture on Cruise’ at Dal Lake

The spectacular Dal Lake here hosted first ever ‘Cultrue of Cruise’, a weeekly cultural programme organised by the Jammu and Kashmir government aimed to bring artists from various fields on one stage. The innovative programme series brings writers, performance artistes, musicians, poets and academics together and offers a program of performances, workshops, talks, forums and debates. The inaugural programme of the series saw artistes such as Mohammed Yaseen Gundpuri, Mohammed Subhan Shah, and Bashir Kotur perform before a select gathering of audience comprising singers, artists, writers, and poets.

Karnataka Govt appoints panel to design its own state flag

The Congress-led Sidsaramaiah 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 seperate state flag and soon submit a report looking into the legal sancity 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.

Raipur, the most customer-friendly airport

Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport was ranked first in Customer Satisfaction among 53 non-metro airports in the country. Raipur Airport achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index in the latest CSI (Customer Service Index) 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. 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 the Airport Authority of India (AAI). The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, parking, passenger facilities and cleanliness, etc

Maharashtra passes law against social boycott

Maharashtra has become the first state to make social boycott a crime after President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the legislation. The Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Act prescribes a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of Rs1 lakh. It aims to prevent atrocities carried out by extra-judicial courts and caste panchayats. The Act also provides for compensation to victims. The fines imposed on violators will be used to compensate them. The Act also has a provision to withdraw cases with the consent of victims and permission from a court. In case of a withdrawal, the accused will have to perform community service.

Delhi Police to get ‘super cop belt’

National capital police will be the first state police in India who will get ‘super cop belt’, a specially designed belt, widely used by Police in UK, USA, Russia and para-military forces like CRPF, CISF, NSG etc. This belt will help cops to keep things like Gun, Mobile Pouch, Security Batten, Wireless Set Pouch & ammunition pouch. According to the Delhi Police, currently a cop has to carry wireless set, pistol, and cartridge separately. During any protest or event which have large public gathering, these equipments become liability.

Maharashtra launches free injectable contraceptive for women

Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to provide women an injectable contraceptive for free. The state’s public health department launched a program called Antara to offer women an injection of Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a birth-control hormone. According to state health officials, the injection, a safe means of birth control, is effective for three months. The injection will be given intramuscularly to women in the age bracket of 18-45 years. Currently, the injections are available for free at public health facilities in Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri and Beed.

Rajasthan fixes min education qualification for cooperative body poll

Rajasthan has laid down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies. With this, Rajasthan became India’s first state to fix minimum educational qualification for cooperative body poll. In this regard, the Rajasthan Gvernment amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003. The new rules would benefit about 10000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. Moreover, the benefit of education will accrue to the societies as their management will go to expert hands.

Delhi becomes second state to accept online RTI applications

Filing an RTI application with the Delhi government is now just a click away. Delhi became the second state to launch e-RTI portal that will enable citizens to file online Right to Information (RTI). Maharashtra is the first state to launch the online RTI platform. The portal launched recently will enable citizens to file RTI and seek information related to 172 departments of the Delhi government including the office of the CM and his ministers. The e-RTI portal, which has been designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), includes filling of application, payment of fees and getting replies online. An applicant will also be able to track the status of RTI application. The e-RTI application fee will have to be paid through net banking. Citizens can file the e-RTIs by logging at www.rtionline.delhi.gov.in. You can also call at 011-23392726 and 011-23392421 for any queries related to the process of filing the RTI.

Kerala Govt proposes Stray Dog Zoos

The Kerala government is planning “stray dog zoos” to keep them off the streets in the State. The State government informed a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra that it had asked all district panchayats to keep aside two to three acres and notify them as ‘stray dog zoos’. The State government, represented by senior advocate V. Giri, was responding to a question from the Supreme Court on the construction of shelter homes for the stray dog population, which has increased aggressively over the years and become a dangerous presence on the streets, especially after dark. However, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and activists refused to be convinced by the solution Kerala has arrived at concerning stray dogs.

J&K Assembly passes resolution to implement GST in the state

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly adopted a resolution to implement the goods and services tax (GST), bringing the state’s indirect taxation into the new unified tax regime that the rest of the country adopted on 1 July at a landmark ceremony in Parliament. The resolution moved by state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, was adopted through a presidential order calling on the Centre to safeguard the special status and exclusive taxation powers of the state. With this Jammu and Kashmir has become the last state to pass the GST bill in the state.


CONFERENCES

India to host 2017 Global Conference on Cyber Space

India will host Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017, the world’s largest conference on cyber space and related issues in New Delhi in November 2017. This is for the first time GCCS is taking place outside Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. It will be the fifth edition the conference. The theme for the GCCS 2017 is ‘Cyber4All: An Inclusive, Sustainable, Developmental, Safe and Secure Cyberspace‘. The cyber security will be one of the major focus areas in GCCS 2017. It will serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas with global think thanks and promote closer co-operation among the international community. The GCCS is a prestigious international conference that aims at encouraging dialogue among stakeholders of cyberspace. It was incepted in 2011 in London.

22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) held in Istanbul

The 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference was held recently in Istanbul, Turkey. Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan visited Istanbul to represent India at the Conference. The theme for 22nd World Petroleum Congress was ‘Bridges To Our Energy Future’. WPC was first organized in year 1993. Currently, it is being held at the interval of three years. “This time – Istanbul!” was the motto for the Turkish delegation as they faced the USA with Houston, Kazakhstan with Astana and Denmark with Copenhagen in the election to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in 2017. In a tightly run competition, Istanbul won the right to host the prestigious Congress with 55% of the votes in the third round against its strongest rival Houston with 45%.

Model UN Regional Conference begins in Kathmandu

A Model United Nations (MUN) Regional Conference is being held at Kathmandu. The event is organised by the US Embassy in partnership with the Youth Thinker’s Society. Youths from 12 South and Central Asian countries including India are participating in 5-day conference. The basic aim of the MUN is to provide a platform to young minds to channelize energy and resources for a more prosperous and peaceful world. The conference simulate four UN committees-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Danfoss India conferred with Golden Peacock Award

Climate and energy efficiency solutions company Danfoss India has been conferred with the ‘Golden Peacock Award’ for Environment Management. The award was presented in Hyderabad during the 19th World Congress on Environment Management’ in the presence of Supreme Court Justice Kurien Joseph. Acknowledging its commitment towards the environment, the company has been recognized for its LEED Platinum rated constructed the manufacturing facility in Chennai. Danfoss’s commitment towards sustainable development via its energy-efficient products, green initiatives at the Oragadam campus and its ongoing pan India CSR Programmes driving Sustainability are some the key contributing factors for the award.

12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is hosting the twelfth G20 Summit on 7th and 8th of July, 2017. The G20, or group of 20, is an international meeting between heads of states, finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s leading economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting this year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg. The theme of the German presidency of the G20 is ‘Shaping an interconnected world’. Leaders of the G20 countries agreed to swift action and targeted exchange of information on terrorism and its financing. In a statement released at the end of the first day of the 12th G20 Summit, the member countries decided to take concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities. The leaders also decided that the private sector will also be involved in the global efforts to counter terror financing.

5th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers held in Beijing, China

Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education was held in Beijing, China. The Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar. The delegation of all the five BRICS countries participated in the two-day deliberations. Javadekar highlighted some of the initiatives of the Govt. of India in education. He specifically spoke about the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), SWAYAM platform which has already hosted over 480 courses online, research initiative IMPRINT and Smart India Hackathon. He also appreciated the creation of institutional mechanism in the form of BRICS Network University and BRICS Think Tank Council. Under BRICS Network University proposal, 12 universities from each of the 5 countries will engage with each other in education research and innovation. The 5 areas of cooperation which have been prioritised are–Communication and IT, Economics, Climate Change, Water Resources and Pollution, and BRICS study.

10th Session of the India- Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee held in New Delhi

The 10th India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) Meeting was held in New Delhi under the co-chairs of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, (India) and Mr. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply (Jordan). The two leaders also inked the revised Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between India and Jordan, aiming at boosting and diversifying bilateral trade relations, in addition to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation based on the principle of equity, non-discrimination. On the sidelines of the TEJC, business federations from both sides also met and discussed the roadmap for the promotion of trade and investment through a B2B mechanism.


AWARDS & HONOURS

Japanese, Sri Lankan among 2017 winners of Magsaysay awards

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards. The other recipients named are Abdon Nababan, an Indonesian, a Singaporean businessman Tony Tay, a Philippine theater group and Lilia de Lima , a Filipino. The awards, named after a Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash, are to be presented in Manila on August 31.

Jhulan Goswami and Subrata Bhattacharya felicitated by Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan was conferred former club captain and coach Subrata Bhattacharya with prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna award at the club’s annual day programme in kolkata. The city football gaint also felicitated India Women’s cricket team veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami with a special award. On the other hand, former club striker Balwant Singh was awarded the Best Football Player of the Year prize. Debabrata Das was honoured with the Best Cricket Player of the Year award. Former Bengal batsman Shyam Sundar Mitra was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Advani receives Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in Lok Sabha

Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha. JD-U leader Sharad Yadav also received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a Rajya Sabha representative from Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function organized by the Lokmat Media Group to honor distinguished Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members. The awardess were selected by a jury headed by former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil. The criteria for choosing the awardees included whether the parliamentarians followed the rules of procedures of the house. The jury also considered if these parliamentarians spoke only about their constituencies, their states or the nation as a whole. They also considered if parliamentarians took into account the situation developing across the world in terms of economic situation, international relations, cultural relations, war and peace and science & technology.

IIFA Awards 2017: Shahid-Alia win Best Actor and Actress, Neerja wins Best Film

The 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards was held in New York. Sonam Kapoor’s film Neerja won the best film award. Actor Shahid Kapoor earned the Best Actor award for his role in Udta Punjab, while Alia Bhatt won the Best Actor (Female) award for the same film.
Here is the list of winners of the IIFA Awards 2017:
Best Actor: Shahid Kapoor (Udta Punjab)
Best Actress: Alia Bhatt (Udta Punjab)
Best Film: Neerja
Best Actor in a Comic Role: Varun Dhawan (Dishoom)
Best Actor in a Negative Role: Jim Sarbh (Neerja)
Style Icon of The Year: Alia Bhatt
Best Debutante: Disha Patani (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Debutant: Diljit Dosanjh (Udta Punjab)
Woman of The Year: Taapsee Pannu
Special Contribution to Indian Cinema: AR Rahman
Best Supporting Actress: Shabana Azmi (Neerja)
Best Supporting Actor: Anupam Kher (M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (Pink)
Best Story – Shakun Batra and Ayesha DeVitre Dhillon (Kapoor & Sons)
Best Music Director: Pritam (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Male: Amit Mishra (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Female- Tulsi Kumar (Airlift) and Kanika Kapoor (Udta Punjab).

NABARD celebrates 36th Foundation Day

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the 36th National Bank For Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) Foundation Day and Silver Jubilee of SHG Bank Linkage Programme, in New Delhi. Self Help Group Bank Linkage Programme (SHG BLP) is a pioneering initiative of Financial Inclusion by NABARD. The pilot stage of this programme was started in year 1992.

Sindhu bags ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award

Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu was bestowed with the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award during the ‘Maruti Suzuki Sportsperson of the Year’ Charity Gala Awards. Sindhu’s coach P Gopichand received the Coach of the Year award while the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh was given the Living Legend of the Year award. Young India cricketer K L Rahul, who made a mark in the last Test series against Australia, was awarded Gamechanger of the Year award. The 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist and the country’s sole gold medal winner in individual events at Olympics, Abhinav Bindra was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Para athletes Devendra Jhajaria, Mariappan Thangavelu, Varun Bharti and Deepa Malik also received awards.

Kambala’ Buffalo Race Gets President’s Assent

The President gave his assent to the bill passed by Karnataka Assembly to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’. In pursuance of the proviso to clause (1) of article 213 of the Constitution of India, the President of India hereby approves the promulgation of ‘The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017′ by the Governor of Karnataka. Bowing to public pressure, a bill to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka was passed by the state Assembly in February with all parties backing the move. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was amended in its application to Karnataka by the bill which was tabled after the clamour for Kambala grew, spurred by the success of pro-jallikattu (taming of bull) stir in Tamil Nadu. Kambala, held from November to March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to the plough and anchored by one person.


SPORTS & GAMES

Caeleb becomes first ever to win three gold medals in one night

The 20-year-old Caeleb Dressel established himself as America’s newest star of the pool recently, becoming the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics. Caeleb Dressel accomplished this feat at 2017 FINA World Aqatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Not even Phelps managed such an audacious feat. Dressel raced three times over the course of about two hours – and won every time. Dressel’s sprint heroics were compiled in just over 90 minutes, interspersed by Sarah Sjostrom’s world record in the women’s 50 metres freestyle on another stunning night’s racing at the Duna Arena.

Shiva Thapa, Manoj Kumar strike gold at Czech Boxing tourney

Indian boxers packed quite a heavy punch at the 48th Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem, clinching five gold, two silver, and one bronze medal at the event in the Czech Republic. World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (60kg), former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (69kg), Amit Phangal (52kg), Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) claimed gold medals after winning their respective summit clashes. Kavinder Bisht (52kg) and Manish Panwar (81kg), on the other hand, settled for silver medals.

India clinch Division B crown in front of sellout home crowd

India defeated Kazakhstan, 75-73, to clinch the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup’s Division B title. The thrilling final was held at the Kanteerava Inddor stadium in Bengaluru. To celebrate the win, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced a cash award of Rs. 10 lakh for the Indian team. On the other hand, Japan defeated Australia 74-73 in the Division A summit clash.

Sebastian Vettel wins 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and the Ferrari driver won the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod. The second and third place was taken by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland respectively. The 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2017 Formula One season and the 32nd running of the Hungarain Grand Prix.

Indonesia to host AFC U-19 championship in 2018

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competition Committee awarded Indonesia the hosting of the AFC Under-19 championship 2018. The AFC U-19 championship is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 4 of 2018. The committee felt that Indonesia was regarded as the most favourable among the bidders.

India finishes 7th in Youth Commonwealth Games with 11 medals

The Indian contingent finished an impressive seventh in the recently-concluded 6th Youth Commonwealth Games at the Bahamas with a total tally of 11 medals including for four gold, one silver and six bronze medals. England topped the medal list with atotal of 51 medals including 23 gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze followed by Australia at the second position with atally of 39 medals that includes 14 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. The other countries to finish ahead of India include New Zealand, Scotland, Soth Africa and Singapore.

Sachin Siwach strikes gold at Commonwealth Youth Games

World Youth Champion Sachin Siwach clinched a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games, Bahamas after defeating Welsh boxer James Nathan Prober 4-1 in the final. Siwach, who won gold last year, was the only one of the 103 boxers to have clinched a gold so far in the tournament, taking place in Bahamas. He had stormed into the finals after defeating SA Kuse 5-0. The World Youth Champion was also the flag bearer of India for the tournament.

India lose Women’s World Cup 2017 final to England by 9 runs

Indian eves lost to England by a narrow margin of nine runs in the ICC Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s in London. Chasing a target of 229, Indian middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards, being bowled out for 219 in 48.4 overs. India put up a tough fight but England lift the World Cup. It is the fourth time England has won, following successes in 1973, 1993 and 2009. Opener Poonam Raut was top scored with 86, while Harmanpreet Kaur contributed 51. Earlier, Natalie Sciver’s 51 and Sarah Taylor’s 45 laid the foundation for England’s decent total of 228 for 7. For England, it was their fourth Women’s World Cup.

CM Mukul Sangma launches ‘Mission Football’ in Shillong

Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma launched ‘Mission Football’ at a grand ceremony at JN Sports Complex, Shillong recently. During the occasion, Dr. Mukul Sangma stated that through this mission the future of Meghalaya can be foreseen when the State will be connected with the rest of the world because of the love and passion for the game. Mission Football is an initiative to help develop skills of football enthusiasts and develop young footballers for the country. It is a dedicated program for talent identification and nurturing of talents to develop national and international players. A total of eight grounds will be developed and the development of football stadiums in seven districts with an investment of Rs 5 crores per stadium.

Prannoy Clinches 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton title

Rising shuttler H S Prannoy defeated Parupalli Kashyap to clinch the $120000 US Open Grand Prix Gold in Anaheim, Calfornia. Prannoy defeated Kashyap 21-15 20-22 21-12 in the summit clash, which lasted an hour and five minutes. In the women’s singles category of the tournament, Aya Ohori of Japan won the final by defeating Michelle Li of Canada. The 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold was the eleventh Grand Prix’s badminton tournament of the 2017 BWF Grand Prix and overall eight Grand Prix Gold title of 2017 BWF Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.

Karamjyoti Dalal bags Bronze at World Para Athletics

India’s Karamjyoti Dalal has won bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championships 2017 in the discus-throw. In the women’s F55 category of discus-throw, she managed a throw of 19.02 m. Earlier, Sundar Singh Gurjar had opened India’s account at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships by winning gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event. Later, Amit Saroha won silver medal in the club throw event in the F-51 category. Dalal is currently ranked World No. 8 and had finished fourth at the 2015 IPC Para-athletics championships.

FIFA lifts suspension of Sudan Football Association

World football’s governing body FIFA lifted the ban on the Sudan Football Association (SFA) imposed on it for the failure to abide by agreements mentioned in articles 14 and 19 of the FIFA statute. The SFA and its member officials are now eligible to benefit from the FIFA development program, course or training. It does mean that Sudan will be able to continue their campaign in the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers. They have already been knocked out of the 2018 World Cup preliminaries.

Roger Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon Title

Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title and became the tournament’s oldest champion with a straight-sets victory over injury-hit Marin Cilic who dramatically broke down in tears midway through the final. Federer claimed his 19th Grand Slam title beating Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. The 36-year old Federer is also 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 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.

Lewis Hamilton wins record fifth British Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the fifth time – matching the record of Jim Clark and Alain Prost to cut Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead to just a single point. They allowed Valtteri Bottas to grab second from Kimi Raikkonen to secure a Mercedes one-two, as Vettel trailed home seventh. Hamilton was 1.6 seconds clear after the first lap before the race was neutralised by a safety car following a collision between the Toro Rosso drivers.

Muguruza defeated Venus to clinch Maiden Wimbledon

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza won her maiden Wimbledon title with a straight-set win over five-time champion Venus Williams. It was 23-year-old, the 14th seed Muruguza’s first Wimbledon title. Also Muruguza’s 2nd Grand Slam title – the first was in French Open 2016 defeated Sarena Williams. Muruguza, playing her 4th Wimbledon Tournament, reached the final two years ago as nearly unknown player and was stricken in straight sets by Venus’ sister Serena. She saved two set points and won the last nine games in a 7-5, 6-0 victory under the Centre court roof.

Sundar Singh Strikes Gold at 2017 World Para Athletics Championships

India’s Sundar Singh Gurjar claimed gold medal in men’s javelin throw event at the World Para Athletic Championships taking place in London on the opening night of the tournament itself. He attempted his personal best, an effort of 60.36m in the men’s javelin throw F46, which was enough for him to take the top spot and open India’s medal tally. Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Priyantha Herath came second with 57.93 meters while defending champion Guo Chunliang of China was third with a season’s best 56.14 meters.

In a First, India to Host 8th Theatre Olympics in 2018

Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism has announced that 8th edition of the greatest carnival of Theatre in the World will take place in India for the first time ever from February 17 – April 08, 2018 simultaneously in various cities across the country. There will be 500 plays & 700 ambience performances from across the world and Allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors will be held. In a development that puts India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country is all set to host the next edition of the prestigious Theatre Olympics. Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival, presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world. The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.

India tops medal tally at Asian Athletics

India has topped the medal tally for the first time in the history of Asian Athletics Championships. In a stunning show of dominance on the fourth and final day of competitions in Bhubaneshwar, India clinched five gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze. With that, the hosts ended the championships on top with a haul of 29 medals which included 12 gold, 5 silver, and 12 bronze. India’s earlier best came way back in the 1985 Jakarta edition where they had won 22 medals (10 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze). India pushed China to the second spot (20 Medals). China ended this edition with a tally of 8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze. Kazakhstan finished third (8 Medals) with 4 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze while Iran ended on fourth with 4 gold and 1 bronze.

Harinder wins South Australian Open title

India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu beat Rhys Dowling of Australia in the final to lift South Australian Open squash title. Sandhu was down 1-7 after winning the first game comfortably as the Australian fought back strongly. He mounted a comeback to win it on extra points. The third game was a no-contest as the Indian, a former national champion, shut out Dowling’s challenge 11-4 to wrap up the victory. It was Sandhu’s eighth title at the PSA level and the third this season after winning two in Malaysia in the month of May.

Valtteri Bottas wins Austrian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas roared to the second victory of his career when he won the Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. The Finn, in his first season with Mercedes after replacing 2016 champion Nico Rosberg, came home 0.658 seconds clear of Vettel who increased his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship to 20 points. Bottas finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished second and third respectively. Three-time Formula One champion, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in the race.

Pankaj Advani-led Indian beat Pakistan to win Asian Snooker Championship

India’s leading cueist Pankaj Advani teamed up with Laxman Rawat to demolish Pakistan in the final of the Asian Team Snooker Championship in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Advani drew first blood by putting on a sterling performance against Mohammad Bilal. After the Pakistani scored the first solitary point and benefited from a foul from Advani, the Indian bounced back to piece together a brilliant break of 83 to seal the first tie of the best-of-five final. To complete a whitewash, the Indian pair maintained their superlative performance in the doubles tie. Advani remained the only player not to lose a single individual match in the team event. This title brings up Advani’s second Asian title this season and 8th overall while it was a first major first international title for Rawat.

Germany Defeats Chile to Win Maiden Confederations Cup Title

Germany was crowned 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup champions after a hard-fought 1-0 final victory over Chile in Saint Petersburg. In the final played, the four-time World Cup winners defeated Chile by a solitary goal. Lars Stindl put Germany ahead in the first half against the run of play, and Germany then held on to the lead. Earlier, in the third-place play-off match in Moscow, Portugal defeated Mexico 2-1. The match was held at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.


ECONOMY

Canara Bank launches its first digital branch ‘CANDI’

Canara Bank has launched its first ‘Digital Banking Branch’ named ‘CANDI’ in Bengaluru. The branch will provide an end-to-end digital experience to customers. The bank has introduced customer-friendly mobile apps which help customers get most of the information related to their accounts from the app without the need to visit the branch. The most attractive feature of the Digital Branch is a humanoid robot that addresses basic queries of customers on banking products and services. This is a first-of-its kind initiative by a public sector bank in the country.

SBI cuts savings bank rate on deposits up to Rs. 1 cr

The decline in rate of inflation and high real interest rates have prompted State Bank of India to cut the savings bank deposits rate from 4 per cent to 3.5 per cent on deposits below Rs. 1 crore. This cut in savings bank rate will prompt many banks to follow suit. The savings bank deposits above Rs. 1 crore will continue to earn 4 per cent interest. The cut in SB rate will enable it to maintain the marginal cost of funds based lending rate at the current level.

Union Bank slapped with Rs. 1 crore penalty by RBI for KYC non-compliance

The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on state-owned Union Bank of India for “non-compliance” with the directions on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers. The central bank said it had examined the documents regarding the complaint and notice was issued to the state-owned lender. The bank was asked to show cause “as to why penalty should not be imposed” for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI. The RBI said after considering the bank’s reply, oral submissions, additional information and documents, it concluded that the charge was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.

NPCI gets RBI nod to operate Bharat Bill Payment System

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payment systems has received a final nod from the Reserve Bank of India to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and operate the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). The final clearance from RBI comes almost a year after NPCI launched the BBPS pilot project to make payment of utility bills easier. The pilot started on 31 August 2016 with eight BBPS operating units that had received in-principle approval from RBI.

Six Scheduled Commercial Banks got Supervisory Colleges

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up Supervisory Colleges for six Scheduled Commercial Banks which have sizeable international presence. The six Scheduled Commercial Banks are State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd., Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank Ltd. and Punjab National Bank. The objectives of the colleges are to enhance information exchange and cooperation among supervisors, to improve understanding of the risk profile of the banking group and thereby facilitate more effective supervision of internationally active banks.

IOB goes live with Bharat Bill Payment system

Public sector Indian Overseas Bank has offered Bharat Bill Payment System, introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India, for its customers. BBPS is an integrated bill payment system that offers inter-operable online bill payments to customers. The services include online payments of electricity, telecommunication, DTH, water and gas bills, the Chennai headquartered bank said in a statement. Indian Overseas Bank is one of the three public sector banks (apart from Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India) to get the approval from RBI for providing the service.

PNB ties up with Bajaj Allianz General for distribution

Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance have signed an agreement for the distribution of insurance products through the branches. Under this agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer personal lines of insurance products such as health, personal accident, home, motor and travel along with commercial line of insurance products such as property, marine and engineering insurance, etc to the bank’s customers.

BSE inks pact with Egyptian Exchange

Leading bourse BSE joined hands with Egyptian Exchange (EGX) for cooperation in exchange of information across business areas. Through this MoU a range of opportunities has been explored for the development of their businesses, products and markets to share knowledge and strengthen international connectivity.

Guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme revised

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) Scheme with a view to achieve its intended objectives.
Two sets of changes have been made in the scheme:
1. Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD).
2. Flexibility has been given to Ministry of Finance to design and introduce variants of SGBs with different interest rates and risk protection / pay-offs that would offer investment alternatives to different category of investors. Ministry of Finance (the issuer) has been delegated this power to amend / add to the features of the Scheme with approval of the Finance Minister to reduce the time lag between finalizing the attributes of a particular tranche and its notification.

CAC adopts universal standards for pepper, cumin and thyme

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme, paving the way for universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries. The decision was taken during the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s 40th session in Geneva. The step is seen as a major recognition of India’s efforts to benchmark global spices trade.

Axis Bank acquires FreeCharge from Snapdeal for Rs. 385 crore

Axis Bank announced the acquisition of Snapdeal-owned mobile payments provider Freecharge in an all-cash deal worth Rs. 385 crore. The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the indicative time-frame to complete the acquisition is two months, the private sector lender said in an exchange filing. With this buyout, Axis Bank will get over 50 million customers of Freecharge along with its niche and patented technology and human resources. Founded in 2010 by Mumbai based entrepreneur Kunal Shah, FreeCharge started as a recharge deal coupons platform before turning into a full-scale mobile wallet. Amazon had in fact placed a higher bid for FreeCharge, however the Snapdeal-owned payments platform opted for the Axis Bank offer.

Yatra acquires Air Travel Bureau

Yatra Online Inc, India’s second-largest online travel operator, has acquired corporate travel service provider Air Travel Bureau (ATB). ATB is India’s ‘largest corporate travel services provider’ with gross bookings of Rs 1,500 crore and a client base of 400 companies in the country. Yatra has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of ATB and assume its debt. The debt amount has not been disclosed. ATB specialises in corporate travel management, MICE operations and leisure tourism. Its web site says it has been in this business for 54 years with a pan-India presence through a team of over 700 travel experts.

Sidbi starts merchant banking operations for MSMEs

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has started full-fledged merchant banking operations to benefit the expanding number of growth-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those with a strong technology and innovation quotient. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the access of MSMEs to the capital markets, including the SME Trading Platform and Institutional Trading Platform.

BoB signs MoU with DGS&D for services to govt’s e-marketplace

Bank of Baroda has entered into an agreement with Directorate General of Supplies & Disposal (DGS&D) for extending various banking services to Government e-Marketplace (GeM). DGS&D has been mandated to set up GeM, an initiative intended to bring greater transparency and efficiency in public procurements. The relationship of the bank with GeM will immensely benefit all stakeholders and ensure a support system including a dedicated team for seamless functioning of the portal.

Karnataka Bank, PNB MetLife launch Met Loan and Life Suraksha

Karnataka Bank, in association with its PNB MetLife, has launched Met Loan and Life Suraksha (MLLS), a single premium plan covering the loan liability of a customer. In the year of celebrating 15 years of its partnership with M/s PNB MetLife, the bank also introduced ‘KBL MLLS’ app exclusively for KBL employees to instantly calculate insurance cover and premium based on loan liability of their borrowers.

ADB projects 7.4% growth for India in 2017

According, to Asian Development Bank supplement report India is expected to achieve the projected growth rate of 7.4 per cent in 2017 and further up to 7.6 per cent next year on strong consumption demand, with South Asia leading the growth chart in Asia and the Pacific. According to the report, South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of 7 per cent in 2017 and 7.2 per cent in 2018.

SBI to cut NEFT, RTGS charges by up to 75%

To encourage more customers to transact digitally, State Bank of India will slash charges for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions by up to 75 per cent with effect from July 15. The reduced charges will be applicable on the transactions done through the internet banking (INB) and mobile banking (MB). Additionally, the bank has also waived off charges for fund transfer of up to Rs. 1,000 done through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) effective July 1, 2017.

SBI waives off IMPS charges for fund transfer up to Rs 1000

Country’s largest bank SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000 through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions. State Bank of India had been charging Rs 5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000. IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as well as internet banking. For IMPS, the charge will be Rs 5 along GST for fund transfer in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The charge will go up to Rs 15 for transactions of Rs 1-2 lakh. GST at the rate of 18 per cent is applicable on all financial transactions.

Google acquires Bengaluru-based AI startup Halli Labs

Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum. Halli Labs was founded in 2017 by Pankaj Gupta with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems. Halli Labs becomes the latest AI start up to be acquired by a technology giant after a mass of similar acquisitions by firms such as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple among others. Over 30 artificial intelligence startups have been acquired in the first quarter of this year. Google has been the most aggressive buyer in this space with 11 acquisitions since 2012 followed by Apple, Facebook and Intel.

Finance Ministry launches next gold bond tranche

The next tranche of sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme was launched by the Government. This time, provided a 2.5 percent annual interest to investors. The bonds will be available in banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognized stock exchanges namely National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Finance Ministry has announced the sixth tranche of gold bonds applications for which will be accepted from July 10 to July 14, 2017. The bonds will be issued to eligible applicants on July 28. The investors will get the interest payable semi-annually on the nominal value of the investment. The minimum investment will be 1 gram of gold. The maximum limit can be subscribed up to 500 grams per person per fiscal year. A self-declaration to this effect will be obtained. Payment options available are cash payment (up to a maximum of Rs 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.

ICICI Bank ends joint venture pact with Fairfax Financial

In pursuance of the proposed sale of a part of its shareholding in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company (ICICI General) via an initial public offering, ICICI Bank said its joint venture agreement with Canada-based investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings has been terminated. In May 2017, Fairfax Financial Holdings offloaded 12.18 per cent in ICICI General to a clutch of investors, including Warburg Pincus, Tamarind Capital Pte and IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, for ₹2,473 crore. In 2015, Fairfax Financial Holdings had increased its stake in the Indian insurance firm to 35 percent by picking up an additional 9 per cent stake in ICICI Lombard for about Rs. 1,600 crore. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has already given its initial approval to Fairfax’s new insurance venture.

FINO becomes payments bank

FINO Payments Bank has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from 30th June 2017 according to the Reserve Bank of India. FINO PayTech Ltd, Mumbai, was one of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank. Besides FINO, the other applicants which have launched payment bank operations are Airtel M Commerce Services, Department of Posts and Paytm Payments Bank.

India’s economic growth rate at 7.3% in 2017-18 – RBI report

The Reserve Bank of India stated the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like Goods and Service Tax and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3 per cent in terms of Gross Value Added – GVA in the current fiscal year (2017-18). The Financial Stability Report 2017 released, going forward, reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand are likely to contribute to a better growth outlook. According to the RBI report, GVA growth is expected to be higher at 7.3 per cent in 2017-18. On inflation, it paints a rosy picture and projects CPI inflation to be in the range of 2-3.5% in the first half of the year and 3.5-4.5% in the second half.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO develops India’s first indigenous unmanned tank

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed India’s first unmanned remotely operated tank, which has three variants – surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats. It is called Muntra (Mission UNmanned TRAcked) and has been rolled out of the Chennai lab. The tanks will facilitate Indian Armed forces in conducting unmanned surveillance missions. Muntra-S is the country’s first tracked unmanned ground vehicle developed for unmanned surveillance missions while Muntra-M is for detecting mines and Muntra-N is for operation in areas where there is a nuclear radiation or bio weapon risk.

Scientists journey to the world’s hidden 8th continent

A group of scientists set sail in a new expedition aimed at unlocking the secrets of the lost continent ‘Zealandia’. The lost continent, which is mostly submerged, is said to have sunk after breaking away from Australia 60-85 million years ago. In a paper published in the Geological Society of America’s journal GSA Today in February 2016, scietists argued that the Earth has a hidden eighth continent, which should be reflected on the maps. The researchers said that the submerged continent met all the criteria applied to Earth’s other continents including elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor.

Iran successfully launches rocket designed to carry satellites

Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket called ‘Simorgh’ into space. The launch took place at the Imam Khomeini National Space Station in Semnan, some 220 kilometers (138 miles) east of Tehran. The development marks a significant step forward for the Islamic Republic’s young space program. It also raises alarm among the nation’s adversaries who fear that the same technology could be used to produce long-range missiles. the U.S. State Department has termed the launch as “provocative”. The rocket is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds).

In a first in USA, scientists edit DNA of human embryos

A group of scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University edited the DNA of viable human embryos efficiently and apparently with few mistakes. However, the experiment was just an exercise in science and the embryos were not allowed to develop for mor than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb.

Researchers generate human antibodies in the lab

A team of scientists developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The revolutionary technique could speed the production of antibodies to treat a wide range of diseases and facilitate the development of new vacancies. Antibodies are produced by the body’s B cells to fight off infections by bacteria, viruses, and other invasive pathogens. When an individual B cell recognizes a specific pathogen-derived “antigen” molecule, it can proliferate and develop into plasma cells that secrete large amounts of antibody capable of binding to the antigen and fending off the infection.

US Navy tests world’s first drone-killing laser weapon

The U.S. Navy recently tested the world’s first-ever active laser weapons system, which is now deployed and ready for war. The system has special materials that release photons and at the speed of light, it silently hits an object, burning it to a temperature of thousands of degrees. Each strike travels 50,000 times the speed of an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). 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.

Scientists discover galaxy 1000 times brighter than Milky Way

A group of researchers discovered a very distant galaxy, which is about a thousand times brighter than the Milky Way. As per the researchers, it is the brightest of the submillimetre galaxies, a class of ultraluminous infrared galaxies. To measure this galaxy, the researchers used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garfia, La Palma) in Spain.

Indian scientists discover ‘Saraswati’, a supercluster of galaxies

Indian scientists have discovered Saraswati, a large supercluster of galaxies located in the direction of the constellation Pisces, and at a distance of 4,000 million (400 crore) light years away from Earth. A team of astronomers from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and members of two other Indian universities, have discovered this supercluster of galaxies. Supercluster is a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters, bound by gravity, often stretching to several hundred times the size of clusters of galaxies, consisting of tens of thousands of galaxies. This newly-discovered Saraswati supercluster, extends over a scale of 600 million light years and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns.

Pakistan successfully test fires ‘Nasr’, a short-range ballistic missile

Pakistan has successfully test-fired short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’. NASR is a high-precision weapons system with the ability for quick deployment and a range of 70 kilometers, or 43.5 miles. Pakistan Army has conducted a series of training launches and tests during the current week for validation of new technical parameters of ‘NASR’ with an enhanced range of 60-70 kilometers and flight maneuverability.

India Successfully Test-Fires Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) added another feather to its cap by successfully test-firing the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) from ITR Chandipur, off the Odisha Coast. The technologies and subsystems incorporated in the missile met all the mission requirements. All the radars, Electro Optical Systems, Telemetry Systems and other stations have tracked the Missile and monitored all the Parameters. The missile has a strike range of 25 km to 30 km. Designed to be a quick reaction missile, it involves an all- weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing. The missile was test-fired from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

Ravi Mittal appointed part-time member on IRDAI board

Ravi Mittal, who has joined as additional secretary in the Finance Ministry in place of Anil Khachi, is now a part-time member on the board of IRDAI. Mittal has replaced N S Rao at IRDAI, who is a joint secretary level officer. Maruthi Prasad Tangirala, has been appointed as an Executive Director (ED) at IRDAI. Tangirala has replaced Sriram Taranikanti, who is a 1992 -batch IAS officer. Suresh Mathur will be handling reinsurance portfolio at IRDAI as Executive Director.

Shehbaz Sharif to succeed Nawaz Sharif as PM of Pakistan

Shehbaz Sharif, The Chief Minister of Punjab and the brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will replace Nawaz as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The name of Shehbaz was announced during a high-level PML-N meeting. The decision came following Nawaz Sharif’s resignation as Prime Minister of the country on 28 July 2017. He resigned following a decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office on corruption charges. Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly or Senate, and in order to be appointed as the Prime Minister of the country, he will have to get elected to the Senate.

Shikha Sharma re-appointed MD & CEO of Axis Bank

Shikha Sharma has been re-appointed as MD&CEO of Axis Bank for three-year term from June 2018. Her current term was to end in June 2018. Axis Bank informed Bombay Stock Exchange that board of directors has approved the re-appointment. Sharma began her career with the erstwhile infra lender ICICI Ltd in 1980 and played a key role in setting up the group’s investment banking business. She joined Axis from ICICI Prudential Life where she was the managing director and chief executive and replaced the first chairman and chief executive of the bank P J Nayak.

PV Sindhu appointed Group-I officer by Andhra Pradesh Govt

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu has been appointed a Group-I officer in Andhra Pradesh. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu handed over the government order to the Rio Olympics silver winning shuttler. Chandrababu Naidu had promised a Group-I post to Sindhu when she won the silver medal in Olympics. Accordingly, she was appointed the deputy collector. The 21-year-old shuttler has been working with Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) since 2013 and is currently an assistant manager (sports) at its Hyderabad office. Although Sindhu had missed out on gold in Rio de Janeiro, she scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman athlete ever to win silver at the Olympics.

Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM, Sushil Modi as his Deputy

Nitish Kumar, who resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar iting circumstances prevailing in Bihar, was sworn-in as the Cheif Minister of the state on 27 July 2017. He took oath as Bihar Chief Minister with Bharatiya Janata Party as a partner of his Janata Dal-United. With this, the JD(U) President Nitish Kumar has sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the sixth time. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi adminstered the oath of office to Nitish Kumar at the Raj Bhavan in Patna. In addition to this, BJP’s Sushil Kumar was sworn-in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Subhash Garg appointed on ADB Board of Governors

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has been appointed as Indias Alternate Governor on the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Finance Ministry announced recently. Garg has been appointed in place of former DEA Secretary Shaktikanta Das. The appointment came into effect from July 12.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet Board of Directors

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who has led the company for the past two years, is joining the board of directors of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The move represents a vote of confidence in Pichai, who has led Google through a period of sustained growth. Alphabet shares have risen by more than 50% since Pichai, following a lighting fast ascent through Google’s managerial ranks, became CEO of Google in August of 2015. Google accounts for the vast majority of Alphabet’s revenue and virtually all of its profits. Alphabet is the second most valuable U.S. company behind Apple. Pichai is best known for doubling down on Google’s commitment to artificial intelligence, which has led to a long list of improvements for Google’s consumer and enterprise services. Pichai becomes the fifth insider to join the Alphabet board, which now has 13 members.

Janalakshmi Financial Services appoints TPG’s Ajay Kanwal as CEO

Gearing up for the launch of their small finance bank, Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), the largest microfinance company, has announced the appointment of its new CEO Ajay Kanwal. Kanwal, a veteran banker having 27 years of experience in both consumer and commercial banking sector, will take charge of office from August 1. V. S. Radhakrishnan, the current CEO, will take over as Vice-Chairman and R. Srinivasan, the current Vice-Chairman, having reached the age of superannuation, will retire but will continue his association with Janalakshmi.

Mithali Raj named Captain of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team

India Skipper Mithali Raj was named as the Captain of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team by the International cricket Council (ICC). Besides Mithali, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma were the other two Indians included in the ICC’s team. This is the second time that Mithali has been named in the team of the tournament at a World Cup. She was first included in the team in 2009.

Ramnath Kovind takes oath as 14th President of India

Ramnath Kovind took oath as the 14th President of India. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar at a special function in the Parliament. After swearing-in ceremony of kovind, he was given 21-gun salute. With this, Kovind has become the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan. The ceremony was attended by outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior members of the Cabinet. Kovind was elected as the President on 20 July 2017 after he defeated the Opposition parties nominee Meira Kumar by a huge margin.

Brenda Hale to be First Woman President of UK SC

The UK government has appointed 72-year-old Brenda Marjorie Hale as the first female president of the Supreme Court, the head of the highest court in the country. Hale will take charge as the head of Britain’s top judging panel in September following the retirement of current President, Lord Neuberger. She has served as Neuberger’s deputy since 2013. Three new justices have also been appointed to the Supreme Court – Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Lord Justice Brigg – who will take up the role when Lady Hale is sworn in officially as President on 2nd October.

Gopal Baglay appointed Joint Secretary in PMO

Senior diplomat and External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Baglay, a 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Baglay’s appointment to the post for three years. He has been appointed in place of Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who has been already named as India’s Ambassador to Paris.

Sanjay Kothari appointed Secy to new Prez Ram Nath Kovind

Sanjay Kothari, Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as Secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been named as Press Secretary to Kovind, by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary to Kovind. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared these appointments for an initial period of two years. Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June last year as DoPT secretary. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of the government’s head-hunter the PESB.

Lord Mervyn Davies appointed as Chair of UK India Business Council

Lord Mervyn Davies was apponted as the Chair of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) with effect from 1 September 2017. He will succeed Patricia Hewitt, who is stepping down after 8 years. Davies will serve a three- year term. UK India Business Council is the leading market entry advisory and advocacy consultancy fcused on the United Kingdom and India trade opportunity. It supports the UK Government in its volume services as well as providing a business voice in Government to Government discussions.

Bharat Arun appointed Team India bowling coach until 2019 World Cup

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Bharat Arun as the Indian Cricket team’s bowling coach. BCCI’s acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary announced that the cricket body has also decided to retain Sanjay Bangar as an assistant coach and R Sridhar as fielding coach till the 2019 ODI World Cup. The confirmation of their appointment came after newly appointed Indian coach Ravi Shastri met the four-member committee comprising of acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji in Mumbai.

T R Zeliang appointed new CM of Nagaland by Governor

TR Zeliang has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Nagaland by Governor PB Acharya. This will be the second term for Zeliang, his earlier term was from 2014 to 2017. Zeliang’s appointment came after Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu and nine ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislators failed to appear for the floor test. Zeliang was asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before 22 July 2017. Zeliang claims the support of 43 MLAs including seven independents.

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj elected as President of Ramakrishna Math

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj was elected as the 16th President of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission. The office of the President fell vacant following the death of Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj on 18 June 2017. Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission are twin organizations which form the core of a worldwide spiritual movement Ramakrishna Movement or Vedanta Movement.

Parajuli to be Nepal’ new SC Chief Justice of Nepal

Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli will be the new Chief Justice of Nepal. The Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC) unanimously endorsed Justice Parajuli’s name for the post of Chief Justice of Supreme Court. After endorsement by PHSC the President will now appoint him as the Chief Justice. He will head the judiciary till April 28, 2018. Parajuli, the senior-most Justice at the Supreme Court, has taken up the responsibility of acting Chief Justice since June 7, this year after the retirement of then Chief Justice Sushila Karki on June 6.

Lilly Singh appointed UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador

UNICEF appointed Indian- origin Canadian YouTube star Lilly Singh as its newest Global Goodwill Ambassador at a special event in New Delhi. 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. 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.

Mukesh Kumar Jain appointed MD & CEO of Oriental Bank

The Centre has appointed Mukesh Kumar Jain as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Oriental Bank of Commerce, a public sector bank. His appointment is for a period of three years. Prior to this appointment, Jain was an Executive Director at Punjab & Sind Bank. At OBC, Jain comes in the place of Animesh Chauhan, who has superannuated.

Aarthi Subramanian appointed as Chief Digital Officer of Tata Sons

Tata Sons, the holding company of salt-to-software Tata Group, has appointed Aarthi Subramanian as the group’s Chief Digital Officer. Subramanian, currently the Executive Director at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), will join Tata Sons in august. She will, however, continue with TCS in a non-executive capacity. Subramanian is the second TCSer whom Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran has picked up to be a part of his core team after Suprakash Mukhopadhyay.

Justice Vikramajit Sen appointed as Chairperson New BCCC

Justice Vikramajit Sen was appointed as the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). His appointment was approved by the Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting foundation (IBF). Justice Sen succeeds Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, whose three-year term as BCCC Chairperson came to an end. Justice Vikramajit Sen is an alumnus of St Xavier’s School (Delhi) and St Stephen’s College (Delhi). He earned his degree in Law from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. After a long tenure as a Judge of the Delhi High court, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 2012, an office he served till December 2015.

Ravi Shastri named new India coach

Former skipper Ravi Shastri has been named as the new coach of the Indian cricket team. The appointment was confirmed by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Shastri will take charge from India’s upcoming three-Test series against Sri Lanka, starting July 26. Shastri, was chosen by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that included former captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and veteran batting star VVS Laxman. Shastri, who has represented India in 80 Tests and 150 One-Day Internationals between 1981 and 1992, he had initially not applied for the post but when the BCCI extended the deadline for acceptance of applications till July 9, the former skipper jumped into the fray and suddenly became the hot favourite.

GST intelligence agency gets new chief John Joseph

A key intelligence agency tasked with checking evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has got its new chief. Senior bureaucrat John Joseph has been appointed Director General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DG GSTI). Joseph, a 1983 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), has worked in the Finance Ministry’s important departments, including the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The DG GSTI is the new name given to the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), mandated to check service tax and central excise duty evasion. The post of chief of central excise intelligence (now GST intelligence) was lying vacant for over a month after R K Mahajan took charge as Member, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Saima Wazed made WHO goodwill ambassador for autism

Saima Wazed Hossain, a globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder has been appointed as the WHO’s goodwill ambassador for autism in the world body’s Southeast Asia region. Her appointment is for a period of two years. As WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Hossain will be promoting the Thimphu Declaration which emphasizes on integrating the needs of autism affected people into national health and socioeconomic development plans. Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are life- long disabilities that affect brain functioning, and when left without proper support can cause significant impairment in exercising of an individual’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Achal Kumar Joti Appointed Next Chief Election Commissioner

Achal Kumar Joti has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry informed. Mr. Zaidi will demit office on July 5. Mr. Joti, a 1975-batch IAS officer joined the three-member Commission as an Election Commissioner on May 8, 2015, will be in office till January 17, 2018. He was retired as the Gujarat Chief Secretary in January 2013. A CEC or an EC can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Mr. Joti, who will be the 21st CEC, has also served as the Gujarat Vigilance Commissioner and worked in various capacities in the State, including as the chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004 and the managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. (SSNNL).

New chiefs of Union Bank of India & Syndicate Bank take charge

Rajkiran Rai G & Melwyn Rego has been assumed charge as Managing Director & CEO of Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank respectively. Prior to joining Union Bank of India, Rai was Executive Director of Oriental Bank of Commerce & Rego was MD & CEO of Bank of India. Rajkiran Rai started his career in 1986 as an Agricultural Finance Officer in Central Bank of India. Rai has been appointed by the government to head Union Bank of India for a period of three years from the date of his taking over charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, according to a finance ministry notification. Melwyn Rego started his career with IDBI Bank Ltd in 1984 and rose to the position of Deputy Managing Director. Rego will be at the helm of the bank till the remainder of the term up to August 13, 2018, according to a finance ministry notification.

Trump appoints Indian-American as US Ambassador to Peru

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American Krishna R. Urs as the new US Ambassador to Peru. The appointment of Urs, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, would have to be approved by the Senate. He is currently Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid. Urs took over after James Costos, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, resigned. Urs, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service was earlier the Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. During his three decades of State Department service, Mr. Urs has specialised in economic issues and developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America.


B). RESIGNS

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passes away

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passed away recently. He was 44. Inder Kumar suffered a heart attack at his residence in Andheri’s Four Bungalows. He has worked in more than 20 films. He also shared the screen space with Salman Khan in Wanted and Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge among others. He was currently shooting for his next film Phati Paid Hai Yaar. The cremation will be held today evening at Yaari Road Shamshaan Bhoomi.

Nawaz Sharif resigns as Pakistan PM in Panama Papers case

Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office. The ruling came after a probe into his family’s wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif’s children to offshore companies. Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are the new contenders for the post of Pakistan Prime Minister. Pakistan’s stock market fell by 3.4 percent after Supreme Court ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar Chief Minister

Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, has resigned from his office. He resigned on 26 uly 2017 after citing differences with ally RJD in the issue of corruption charges against Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. After submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, Nitish said under the circumstances prevailing in Bihar, it bacame difficult to run the grand alliance government. He said, I tried to work it out and didn’t ask for anybody’s resignation but asked Tejashwi Yadav to explain the charges of corruption.

Renowned Indian Scientist Yash Pal passes away

Renowned Indian Scientist and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Professor Yash Pal passed away at his residence in Noida in the National Capital Region of India. He was 90. Though the cause of death is not yet known, he had reportedly recovered from cancer a few years ago. Known for his contributions to the study of cosmic rays, as well as for being an institution-builder, he was awarded India’s thrid highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 2013. In his later years, he became one of the leading science communicators of the country.

Sean Spicer resigns as Press Secretary of US White House

Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, resigned from his position following the appointment of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as Communications director by President Donald Trump. After the appointment of Scaramucci, Spicer was asked to stay on as the Press Secretary and was asked to report to Scaramucci. However, Spicer rejected the offer and resigned. Following his resignation, Spicre’s top deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders was appointed as Press Secretary. Sacramucci is a Fox News contributor and is known for his on-air defence of President Trump.


C). DEATHS

Former Karnataka CM Dharam Singh passes away

N. Dharam Singh, former Chief Minister of Karnataka, passed away following a heart attack. He was 80. He was the 17th Chief Minister of the state. He headed the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government from May 2004 to February 2006. Dharam Singh represented the Karnataka Legislative Assembly seven times without a defeat and was a member of the Lok Sabha from Bidar constituency once (2009).

Former ISRO Chief U R Rao passes away at 85

Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away due to age related ailments. He was 85. He was currently serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram. Professor Rao, who served as ISRO Chairman for 10 years during 1984-1994, was inducted into International Aeronautical Federation (IAF) Hall of Fame last year during the closing ceremony of IAF Congress 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Under the 2017 Padma Vibhushan award winning scientist, India carried out at least 20 satellites project including the country’s first, Aryabhatta.

Sr Congress Leader & Freedom Fighter Shivajirao Patil passes away

Shivajirao Girdhar Patil, Senior Congress Leader, freedom fighter and former Maharashtra Minister passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai. 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 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.

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. He was 77. Born on 5 October 1940 at Malbasey in Sikkim, Bhandari was serving a givernment 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 1985 and 1989, he became Chief Minister of the state. He was also a former president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee. Bhandari was the first Gorkha to ever hold the office of the Chief Minister in the history of Indian polity. He remained the President of SSP until his death.

China’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo dies at 61

China’s Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo has died at the age of 61 while still in custody following a battle with cancer, after officials ignored international pleas to let him spend his final days free and abroad. Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Chinese intellectual and activist is the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the 1935 recipient, who died under surveillance after years confined to Nazi concentration camps.

Syrian Observatory says ISIS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has died. Observatory sources in Syria’s eastern town of Deir al-Zor had been told by IS sources that Baghdadi had died but they did not specify when. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s original name is Ibrahim Awad al-Samarrai born in Tobchi in a poor area near Samarra, north of the capital Baghdad. Baghdadi is the leader of the Sunni Salafi-Jihadist militant, a jihadist organisation known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).


D). VISITORS

Navy chief begins visit to Mozambique, Tanzania

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had begun an eight-day-long two-nation tour of Mozambique and Tanzania with an aim of exploring new avenues of bilateral defence cooperation. Admiral Lanba, who also heads the powerful Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), will visit first Mozambique. Later on his tour, Admiral Lanba will begin his five-day-long visit to Tanzania on July 26. He is scheduled to meet President of Tanzania John Magufuli, Defence Minister Hussein Mwinyi and other higher delegations. Indian Armed Forces cooperate with the armed forces of Mozambique and Tanzanian on many fronts, which include training and hydrography, besides participating in each other’s defence events. India and Mozambique have a Joint Defence Working Group (JDWG) for defence and security cooperation.


E). MISCELLANEOUS

Microsoft launches ‘Made for India’ Kaizala app

Technology giant Microsoft has officially launched ‘Kaizala’, a productivity app that has been designed to enhance the collaboration and communication experience for Indian enterprises. The ‘Made for India’ app is designed for large group communications and work management and works even on 2G networks. The product will make it possible for organizations to interact with people within the organization as well as outside like partners and vendors in a seamless manner.

Scientists discover glow-in-the-dark shark in Pacific Ocean

A group of scientists identified a new species of glow-in-the-dark shark in the Pacific Ocean off the coast f the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The shark has an unusually large nose, weighs a little less than a kilo measures less than a foot. TThe new species is a member of the lantershark family. The species has been named Etmopterus Lailae.

World’s oldest emoji discovered on 3700-year-old pot in Turkey

A group of archaelogists working on a site in Southern Turkey discovered a 3700-year-old smiley face, which is drawn on the side of a jug. A team of Turkish and Italian archaeologists have been exploring a site on the Turkish-Syrian border, but they have never encountered such an object before. The site depicts the era of the Hittities, an ancient civilisation and empire that is beleived to have existed in the north-central Anatolian region. the ancient smiley jug will be displayed at the nearby Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology.

Neil Armstrong Moon Bag sold for USD 1.8 million in New York

Neil Armstrong bag containing traces of moon dust was sold at an auction for USD 1.8 million in New york. The bag was sold to an anonymous buyer following a sluggish five-minute bidding war on the telephone. The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first dust samaples from the Moon during the 48th anniversary of that mission. During the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong collected nearly 500 grams of material finer than 1 cm, as well as 12 rock fragments larger than one cm ffrom five different locations at th Sea of Tranquility.

Study indicates Mars soil may be toxic to alien life

As per a research conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, surface of Mars has chemical compunds called perchlorates that can wipe out living organisms. The discovery has major implications for hunt for alien life on the red planet as it means any evidence is likely to be buried deep underground.

Hubble telescope spots two dozen groups of newborn stars

Researchers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope found a new dsk-shaped galaxy surrounded by clusters of newborn stars. They compared the sighting as if the universe launched fireworks. Apparently, the cosmic event took 11 billion years before reaching the Hubble’s lenses, which is just 2.7 billion year after the Big Bang. The data comes from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which features the sightings made during the Hubble Telescope’s four-year mission. The sum of all image data from the survey adds up to one-fourth of the observable sky.

Britain’s first pregnant man gives birth to girl

Britain’s first pregnant man has given birth to a girl. Hyden Cross, 21, made headlines around the world earlier in 2017 when he announced that he was pregnant by a spem donor. Three years ago, Cross had legally become male through gender assignment. Reports suggest that his daughter, Trinity-Leigh, was born on 16 June 2017 by caesarian at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. With her birth, Cross became the first transgender man to give birth in the United Kingdom.

India declares itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8)

India has declared itself free from highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8) after surveillance in the states showed no evidence of its presence. It has been notified to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The surveillance was carried out throughout the country since completion of the operation including culling, disinfection and clean-up and surveillance in the states showed no evidence of the presence of Avian Influenza Virus. India had reported outbreaks of influenza at various epicenters in different states across the country between October 2016 and February 2017. Avian Influenza known avian flu or bird flu refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.


BOOKS IN NEWS

Amartya Sen releases ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’

Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen released a book titled “Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives” at Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee, who received the first copy of the book. The book is the academic and research work of scholars, educationists and practitioners from India and abroad. It aims to provide international and comparative perspectives on higher education and highlights issues being faced by Inidan Universities. The book ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’ has been complied by Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JGU University and is published by Oxford University Press.


IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

UN World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 observed

The United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 was observed across the world on 30 July 2017. This year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDODC) selected ‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’ as the focus of the Day. The theme emphasizes one of the most pressing issues of the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts focus on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. In addition, it addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.

29 July: International Tiger Day

The International Tiger Day (also known as Global Tiger Day) is observed annually on 29 July to raise awareness for tiger conservation. This year’s International Tiger Day would be celebrated with the slogan ‘Fresh Ecology For Tigers’ Protection’. The goal of observance of the day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation. Many international organisations are involved in the celebration of this day, including the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) etc. The International Tiger Day was founded in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. The summit had issued St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation with an aim to double the big cat population by 2022. The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face. It is has been founded that in the last century 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared, with only around 3,000 left alive.

28 July: World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July and brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. The Theme for World Hepatitis Day 2017 is ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’. Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year – that’s as many as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.

26 July: Nation celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas

The country is celebrating the 18th Anniversary of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ today. On the occasion, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and three Chiefs of Services will lay floral tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July, commemorates India’s emphatic victory against Pakistan and honors the war heroes. On this day in 1999, the Indian Army successfully took control of posts at a treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, after fighting for 60 days.

18th July: Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all. Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically Elected President of a free South Africa.

15 July: World Youth Skills Day

The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is observed golbally on 15 July every year to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development. This year, the United Nations along with WorldSkills.orgorganised 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 oppurtunity to discover and develop their talents. Through skills individuals, communities, and countries can create a more prosperous future. The theme of this year is “Skills for the Future of Work”. The World Youth Skills Day was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 11 November 2014. The Assembly designated 15 July as the World Youth Skills Day in order to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development.

11 July: World Population Day

World Population Day is being observed globally on 11th July. The objective of the day is to increase the awareness of the people towards the worldwide population issues. The theme of this year is ‘Family Planning- Empowering People, Developing Nations’. This year’s celebrations coincide with the Family Planning Summit, the second meeting of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative, which aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020. The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries.

Bank unions to observe July 19 as ‘Save public sector banks’ day

The United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as ‘Save public sector banks’ day. All members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/ demonstrations at all centres across the country.

Leave a Reply


Share:
Free E-mail Job Alerts
Enter your email address:
Don't Forget To "Activate" Subscription Link Sent to Your Email