01 August 2017 Current Affairs

Maharashtra govt to launch pilot project to encourage use of bicycle

The Maharashtra state government is planning to create cycle tracks through ‘streets with cycle track’ project in order to encourage the use of bicycles, to ease congestion and reduce air pollution. The pilot project will be at first implemented in 10 cities across the state including Nagpur, Amaravati, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Solapur, Latur, Jalgaon, Chandrapur and Kolhapur. A government resolution confirming the same was issued recently. A committee comprising four members including the Additional Director General of Police (Traffic), Secretary PWD (Roads) and two members of NGO Mission Olympics will be studying the project and providing technical inputs.

Los Angeles agrees to host 2028 Summer Olympics, Paris set for 2024

Los Angeles formally announced its bid for the 2028 Summer Plympics after agreeing on a deal with the Olympic organizers. This deal with Olympic organizers paves the way for Paris to host the Summer Olympics in 2024. With this Los Angeles will be hosting the games for the third tim since it first hosted in 1932. It last hosted Olympics in 1984. Games in Paris, the French Capital, marks 100 years since the last tie it hosted the Games. Paris last hosted the Olympics in 1924 and had narrowly lost out to London or the right to host the 2012 Games.

Dhrupad maestro Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar passes away

Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar, a classical vocalist and one of the leading exponents of Dhupad tradition, passed away following a brief illness in Pune. He was 78 and is survived by his wife and two sons. Known to his admires as Sayeed Bhai, Sayeeduddin belongs to Dagar family of musicians that is the only one to practice Dhrupad, a form of Hindustani classical vocal music. He is the 19th generation of the family practising this form of music. With his demice, Sayeeduddin’s sons Nafeesuddin and Aneesuddin Dagar will now be the 20th generation of the family to practice Dhrupad.

Trump Awards First Medal of Honor to Vietnam Army Medic

An Army medic from Michigan who risked his life multiple times to rescue Vietnam War comrades is the first person to receive the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump in Washington. Trump presented America’s highest military honor to James McCloughan at a White House ceremony. McCloughan was a 23-year-old private first class who had been drafted into the Army when, in 1969, he found himself in the middle of the raging, days long Battle of Hui Yon Hill. McCloughan voluntarily entered the “kill zone” to rescue injured comrades, even as he was pelted with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade.

Rahul, Manu-Sumeeth clinch titles at Lagos Open

Indian shuttler C Rahul Yadav and men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy clinched the men’s singles and men’s doubles title respectively at Lagos International challenge in Nigeria. Rahul surpassed another Indian player Karan Rajan Rajarajan in the final clash to the title at the MoladeOkoya-Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium. In the doubles pair, Manu and Sumeeth, who played at the Rio Olympics, defeated local pair of Godwin Olofua and Anouluwapo Ju won Opeyori.

Govt enters into 9 Unilateral APAs with Indian taxpayers in July

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into nine Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPAs) with Indian taxpayers in the month of July 2017. The APA Scheme endeavors to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the Arm’s Length Price of international transactions in advance for a maximum period of five future years. CBDT has signed its first APA with a taxpayer engaged in supplying rigs used in Oil & Gas exploration. The international transactions covered in these nine APAs include provision of software development services, engineering design services, distribution, contract manufacturing, etc.

Union Govt orders LPG prices to be hiked by Rs 4 per month

With an aim to eliminate all subsidies by March 2018, the Union Government has ordered state-run oil companies to raise subsidised cooking gas, LPG (liquified petroleum gas), prices by four rupees per cylinder every month. The information in this regard was provided in the Lok Sabha by Petroleum and natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on 31 July 2017. In a written reply, Pradhan informed that the govt in its order dated 30 May 2017 has authorised the oil companies to increase the price by four rupees excluding tax per month. the order came into effect on 1 June 2017.

Swachh Survekshan-2018 launched to assess sanitation

Central Government has launched the third cleanliness survey ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018’ to rank all the 4,041 cities and towns of the country based on infrastructure development for improved sanitation services and their sustainability, outcomes, citizen connect and visible impact on ground. Under the survey, launched by Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, 500 cities with more than 1 lakh population and state and UT capitals will have all-India ranking. Also, 3,541 cities with less than 1 lakh population will have state and zonal rankings. Under this survey, cities will be ranked based on 71 sanitation related parameters with different weightages for a total of 4,000 marks. Total score has been doubled this time to avoid crowding of cities with very marginal differences in scores that happened in the previous survey.

World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Swiss

Spanning an awesome 1621 feet and rising as high as 279 feet, the newly opened Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland has broken the record for the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, according to Zermatt Tourism. The bridge, which has replaced an older bridge that was damaged by falling rocks, was named after its chief sponsor, a psychologist and co-owner of a Swiss winery. The span is impossibly narrow, at just 25.6 inches wide. Hikers can now cross the Europaweg (Europe Bridge) which connects Grächen and Zermatt and measures nearly 500m.

India-Bhutan trade & transit pact come into force

The new bilateral Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan came into force. It aims to strengthen the bilateral relations between India and Bhutan. The Agreement provides for a free trade regimebetween the territories of India and Bhutan. It also provides for a duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.

Lt Gen Abhay Krishna appointed as Chief of Eastern Command

Lt General Abhay Krishna, who owns extensive service experience of the Northeast India was appointed as the Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command. Krishna succeeds Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi who has retired from service. The appointment of Krishna comes at a time when India is facing a stand-off with Chinese troops along the Sikkim sector. Krishna was currently serving as the Head of the Army’s Jaipur-based Southwestern Command.

Cisco appoints Sameer Garde as India and SAARC President

Networking giant Cisco has appointed former Philips Healthcare executive, Sameer Garde as its India head effective August 1, following the exit of Dinesh Malkani, who was President Cisco India and SAARC. Malkani will remain associated with Cisco as strategic advisor till the end of September.

SC bans use of five harmful metals in firecrackers

The Supreme Court of India announced a ban on the use of five metals including lithium, mercury, arsenic, antimony and lead in firecrackers, deeming them as harmful for the environment. The decision was taken by a bench of justices headed by Justice Madan B Lokur who cited air pollution as one of the main reasons behind the move. The order came after the Central Pollution Control Board;s (CPCB) Member Secretary informed the apex court that standards on air pollution caused by the bursting of firecrackers are yet to be laid down and the exercise would be completed by 15 September.

NITI Aayog Vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya quits

Arvind Panagariya, the first vice-chairman of Niti Aayog who was considered to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal pick for economic reforms, announced his resignation. The 62-year-old Panagariya is an Indian-American economist and Professor of Economics at Columbia University. Panagariya is known for his market-friendly views and is a close associate of well-known trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati. Panagariya has earlier been the chief economist of the Asian Development Bank and a professor of Economics and co-director at the Centre for International Economics, University of Maryland, at College Park. Mr Panagariya was appointed to the post in January 2015.

Mukesh Ambani Becomes Asia’s Second-Richest Person

Mukesh Ambani has elbowed past Li Ka-shing to become Asia’s second-richest man as investors rallied behind his efforts to arm India’s poor with cheap data-loaded phones. The chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has added $12.1 billion to his wealth in 2017, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He passed Li Ka-shing, whose empire spans telecommunications, retail, and ports. Jio took just nine months after launching with a free introductory offer to rope in 117.3 million users and become India’s fourth-largest operator, according to government data.

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