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Current Affairs July 16 2019

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DoT and ICRIER sign MoU to develop BRI for Indian States and UTs
On July 16, 2019, Department of Telecom (DoT) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for Indian States and Union Territories (UTs).
The first estimate will be made in 2019. Subsequently, it will be made every year until 2022.
The need to develop an initiative was recognized by the National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) 2018 in order to build a digital communications infrastructure, leveraging existing assets of the broadcasting and power sectors including collaborative models involving state, local bodies and the private sector……………………………………….Click here to Read more

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Satya Pal Singh & Jayant Sinha elected as members of Public Accounts Committee
On July 11, 2019, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Former Minister of State for Human Resource Development(HRD) Satya Pal Singh & Former Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha have been unanimously elected as members of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) from Lok Sabha. Totally 15 members were unanimously elected by the Lok Sabha.
i. The remaining 9 members of the panel will be elected from among the Rajya Sabha members.
ii. The other members elected to the committee from Lok Sabha are T R Baalu (DMK), Subhash Chandra Baheria, Sudheer Gupta, Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Ajay (Teni) Misra, Jagadambika Pal, Vishnu Dayal Ram, Ram Kripal Yadav (all BJP), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD), Rahul Ramesh Shewale (Shiv Sena), Rajiv Ranjan Singh (JD-U) and Balashowry Vallabbhaneni (YSRC Party)……………………………..Click here to Read more

Around 30 lakh workers enrolled under PM Shram Yogi Maandhan Scheme
Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment stated that under the mega pension scheme, “Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan”, 30,85,205 Persons have enrolled till July 10, 2019. This scheme assures the minimum monthly pension of 3000 rupees to the beneficiaries after attaining the age of 60 years.PM Shram Yogi Maandhan Scheme Key points:
About the scheme:  In February 2019, Government of India (GoI) launched a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) for the benefit of unorganized workers, as per the eligibility.

  • Under the Scheme, the subscriber is required to pay the prescribed monthly contribution amount and the Central Government provides the equal matching contribution.
  • People who are at 40 years or already covered under a pension with a part contribution by the government are not eligible for the scheme. Only one spouse will be eligible for family pension in case of demise of the pensioner.
  • To join the mega pension scheme, the monthly income should not exceed Rs 15,000 by unorganized workers, working or engaged as home-based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washermen, rickshaw pullers, landless laborers, own-account workers, agricultural workers, construction workers, etc.
  • This scheme is implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India(LIC)
  • The eligible person should have a savings bank account and Aadhaar number & age of workers should not be less than 18 years.

First-ever Himalayan States Conclave to be hosted by Uttarakhand on July 28, 2019
The first-ever Himalayan States Conclave will be hosted by Uttarakhand on July 28, 2019, with the main focus on sustainable development of the Indian Himalayan Region. It will be held at Mussoorie. The event will discuss the common issues pertaining to states located in the Himalayan Region like environmental protection, Himalayan culture, and economic development.Himalayan States Conclave Key Points:
i. Along with the administrators and specialists, the conclave will host the Chief Ministers of the Himalayan states – Uttarakhand, Jammu, and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
ii. Rajiv Kumar, Vice President of Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, will also be a part of the conclave.
iii. The key points adopted at the Himalayan conclave will be presented as a draft to the Niti Aayog. This will help to frame policies for the region’s development.
About Uttarakhand: 
Capital: Dehradun
Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
Governor: Baby Rani Maurya
National Parks: Corbett National Park, Gangotri National Park, Govind National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Rajaji National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Askot Musk Deer WLS, Nandhaur WLS, Binsar WLS, Govind Pashu Vihar WLS, Kedarnath WLS, Mussoorie WLS, Sonanadi WLS

IFFI to celebrates its special golden jubilee edition 2019 in Goa
On July 14, 2019, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar stated that IFFI (International Film Festival of India) will mark its Golden Jubilee Edition 2019 (50th edition) in Panaji, Goa scheduled from 20th to 28th November 2019.IFFI to celebrates its special golden jubilee edition 2019 in GoaKey points:
i. Organizers: The event is being jointly organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals and the state-run Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG).
ii. Partner country: Russia will be the international partner for IFFI 2019 edition.
iii. Dignitaries: John Ira Bailey, President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences & other eminent producers and cinematographers have been invited for the event.
iv. Remembrance: IFFI is being organized in Goa since 2004 under the leadership of then chief minister & BJP leader(Bharatiya Janata Party) Manohar Parrikar. The 50th edition of IFFI will pay tribute to Parrikar for his contribution towards the event and making Goa the permanent venue for the festival. IFFI will also remember Mahatma Gandhi, whose 150th birth Anniversary is being commemorated across the country.
v. Celebration: Students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII- Pune) and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (Kolkata) would be part of the organizing team to get a first-hand experience of managing the show. Roadshows in seven cities and business exhibition would also be organized.
About IFFI:
It is India’s most prestigious Film Festival and also the first International Film Festival aims at providing a common platform to the world of cinema to project the excellence of the art of filmmaking.
About Goa:
♦ Capital: Panaji
♦ Chief minister: Pramod Sawant
♦ Governor: Mridula Sinha
♦ National Park: Bhagwan Mahavir (Mollem) National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Bondla WLS, Chorao Island (Dr.Salim Ali ) WLS, Cotigaon WLS, Madei WLS, Bhagwan Mahavir (Mollem) WLS, Netravali WLS.


As per the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 Report, more than 820 million people suffer from hunger
On July 15, 2019, The report named State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 produced by the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) was released.
i. It stated that in the year 2018, more than 820 million people suffered from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide. It is the for the third year in a row the number has risen.
ii. At present, globally 1 in every 9 people suffer from hunger………………………….Click here to Read more

Foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak International Varsity laid in Pak
On July 13, 2019, The foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak International University (BGNIU) has been laid in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The University’s foundation stone was laid by Pakistan’s Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bujdar.
Key points:
i.Overview:  The university will be built in 10 acres of land and it will cost more than Rs. 258 crores to complete. An estimated deadline for completion of the construction has not set by Government.
ii.Benefit: The construction of the varsity is part of Pakistan Prime Minister’s (Imran Khan) vision to facilitate students in Nankana Sahib and other adjoining districts & will help promote religious tourism in Pakistan and also portray country’s good image at international level.
iii. Background: The move came after the Sikhs living in Pakistan demanded a university after the name of their religion founder Baba Guru Nanak at his birthplace &the proposal raised in the Punjab government of Pervaiz Elahi in 2003. The government of PML-N(Pakistan Muslim League), the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) gave final approval. In March 2019, for the 1st time, a Pakistani university had created the Baba Guru Nanak research chair to promote the message of peace that he preached.
About Pakistan:
♦ Currency
: Pakistani rupee
♦ Capital: Islamabad
♦ President: Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi

World Bank Arbitration Court imposed $5.8 billion penalty on Pakistan
World Bank Arbitration Court imposed a penalty of $5.8 billion on Pakistan for unlawful denial of a mining lease to Tethyan Copper Company for the Reko Diq project in 2011.
Key Points:
i. Background: In 2012, Tethyan Copper Company had approached the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) after the Balochistan government declined its lease request. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had terminated the deal in 2013. The case continued for at least 7 years.
ii. Tethyan Copper Company is a joint venture between Chilean mining company Antofagasta and Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation. It had claimed $11.43 billion in damages.
About ICSID: Its Parent Organization is the World Bank Group.
Headquarters: Washington DC, USA
Founded: 14 October 1966
About Pakistan:
Currency: Pakistani rupee
Capital: Islamabad


The UK’s new £50 pound note features codebreaker Alan Turing
According to the Bank of England, Alan Turing, a crack code-breaker and visionary mathematician who set the foundations for artificial intelligence (AI) will feature on Britain’s new £50 banknote. The new note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021. UK’s new £50 pound note features codebreaker Alan TuringKey points:
i. Reason: The Bank of England is putting new faces on Britain’s banknotes as it switches from paper to polymer, a thin, flexible plastic film that is seen as more durable and secure.
ii.Background: In 2016, the polymer £5 notes were put into circulation with Winston Churchill and in 2017, £10 note with Jane Austen. Artist JMW Turner will feature on the £20 note in 2020.
iii. The design on the reverse of the banknote will feature:

  • A photo of Turing taken in 1951& his signature.
  • A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s 1936 paper& a trial model of Turing’s Automatic Computing Engine machine.
  • Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing’s birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code & a quote by Turing.

About Alan Turing
i. He was born in 1912 famous for creating code-breaking machines during World War Two(WW II) at Bletchley Park.
ii. He is also known as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero. In 1952, his career was cut short by his conviction for “gross indecency” with a 19-year old man. He did not go to prison but in 1954 he was chemically castrated and died of cyanide poisoning in an apparent suicide aged 41.
iii. Turing received a posthumous pardon from Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 & in 2017, the “Alan Turing Law” posthumously pardoned men who had been cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts in Britain.
iv. Queen Elizabeth II features on the front of Britain’s banknotes.


Justice AK Sikri appointed as the Judge of SICC
The President of the Republic of Singapore Halimah Yacob appointed Justice AK Sikri, the former judge of the Supreme Court, as an international judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) with effect from August 1, 2019. His term will expire on January 4, 2021. At present, SICC has 16 international judges.AK Sikri Key Points:
i. He retired as a Supreme Court judge on March 6, 2019.
ii. He also served as Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, and Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. He was appointed as a judge of the Delhi High Court in 1999.
iii. Recently, he was appointed as the Chairperson of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA).
About Singapore:
Currency: Singapore dollar
Capital: Singapore

Kiran More appointed as USA cricket team’s interim coach
Kiran Shankar More (56), Indian former cricketer & wicket-keeper has been appointed as the interim coach of the USA (United States of America) cricket team. He replaces the head coach Pubudu Dassanayake of Sri Lanka, whose contract was to end by March 2019 but was extended to December 2019 had resigned due to differences with USA Cricket Board.Kiran More appointed as USA cricket team's interim coach Key points:
i. He is from Vadodara, Gujarat.
ii. The USA Cricket has also appointed former India spinner Sunil Joshi as spin bowling advisor, and Pravin Amre and Kieran Powell as advisors for the batting department.
iii. In June 2019, More was also appointed as the USA’s director of cricket.
iv. He played for India in 49 Tests and 94 ODIs(One Day Internationals), has served as the Chairman of the Indian selection committee and also was the wicketkeeping-consultant of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
About the USA:
♦ Capital
: Washington DC
♦ Currency: Dollar
♦ President: Donald Trump


Extinct bird Elektorornis chenguangi had an extra-long toe: Study
A study found that in the 2014 fossil of an extinct bird Elektorornis chenguangi, a hyper-elongated third toe was discovered in amber tree resin in Hukawng valley of Myanmar. It is a small bird which lived 99 million years ago and belonged to the group of extinct birds called Enantiornithes from the Mesozoic era.
Key Points:
i. The lead author of the study was Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences.
ii. The study was published in the Journal of Current Biology.
iii. Bird’s third toe measured 9.8 millimeters. It is 41% longer than its second toe, and 20% longer than its tarsometatarsus—the bone in the lower leg of birds.

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Overview of 30th Summer Universiade Games 2019
The 30th Summer University Games (XXX Summer Universiade) 2019, largest multi-sport event, participating 118 nations &having 18 sports. The tournament was held in Naples, Italy.
i. Japan won the top spot with 82 Medals(33 Gold,21 Silver,28 Bronze).
ii. India got 29th place in the list with the total medal of 4(1Gold, 1Silver, 2 Bronze)……………………Click here to Read moer

WinnersMedal Won
Dutee ChandWomen’s 100-metre sprint(Gold)
Elavenil ValarivanWomen’s 10m Air Rifle(Silver)
Nina Chandel, Elavenil Valarivan and Aayushi GuptaWomen’s team Air Rifle(Bronze)
Angad Vir Singh BajwaMen’s skeet(Bronze)

India to host ISSF World Cup from March 15 to 26, 2020 in New Delhi
On July 15, 2019, International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) approved India’s application to host the ISSF World Cup stages. ISSF World Cup in rifle/pistol/shotgun events to be held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, New Delhi from March 15 to 26, 2020.
Key Points:
i. The dates for the event were approved by the ISSF Executive Committee.
ii. It will be preceded by the Shotgun World Cup in Nicosia, Cyprus, from March 4 to 13, 2020.
iii. The World Cup in rifle, pistol and shotgun, a test event for the Olympics, will be held in Tokyo, Japan from April 15 to 27, 2020, followed by the World Cup in rifle and pistol in Munich, Germany, from June 2 to 9, 2020
iv. The combined World Cup for all three events will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from June 22 to July 3, 2020.
About ISSF:
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Founded: 1907
President: Vladimir Lisin


Boxing legend ‘Sweet Pea’ Pernell Whitaker passed away in Virginia, US
On July 14, 2019, Pernell Whitaker, former Olympic boxing gold medallist, and four-weight world champion, passed away after he was hit by a vehicle in Virginia, United States. He was 55 years old. The American professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2001 was nicknamed as ‘Sweet Pea’.Sweet Pea’ Pernell Whitaker passed away
Key Points:

i. Born on January 2, 1964, in Norfolk, Virginia, he fought 46 times as a professional, where he won 40 with 17 knockouts.
ii. He won Olympic gold at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, gold at the 1983 Pan American Games, silver at the 1982 World Championships and also won world titles at lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight
iii. He was named as the fighter of the year by Ring magazine in 1989 and was also regarded as the best pound for pound boxer in the world during the early to mid-1990s.
iv. In 2002, the Ring magazine ranked him the 10th greatest boxer of the last 80 years and he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.

Hussein Mohammed Ershad, former Bangladesh military dictator passed away in Dhaka
On July 14, 2019, Bangladesh’s former military dictator, Hussein Mohammed Ershad, aged 91, passed away at a Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka, Bangladesh due to complications from old age.Hussein Mohammed Ershad Key Points:
i. The former president who was in office from December 11, 1983, to December 6, 1990, was born on February 1, 1930, in Dinhata, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now in Coochbehar, West Bengal).
ii. He was a prolific poet, the Chief of Jatiya Party, the leader of the opposition in Parliament, and the Chief of the Army Staff from December 1, 1978, to August 30, 1986.
iii. He was the recipient of the United Nations’ Population Award in 1987 for his contributions to population and environmental issues.

1971 war hero Lt Gen JS Gharaya passed away at the age of 93
Lt Gen JS Gharaya (retd), who was awarded the Mahavir Chakra in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and Kirti Chaka in the 1947 Hyderabad operations, passed away in Chandigarh. He was 93.Lt Gen JS Gharaya passed awayKey points:
i. He had been commissioned before Independence into the Frontier Force Regiment in 1946.
ii. After Independence, he was transferred to the Bihar Regiment. In September 1948, he took part in the ‘Police Action’ in Hyderabad and effectively handled the Razakar militia which was opposing Hyderabad’s merger with India. For personal bravery, he was awarded the Kirti Chakra, the second-highest peacetime gallantry award.
iii. During the 1971 war, he was commanding a brigade in the Jessore Sector on the eastern front.
iv. He commanded 9 Infantry Division and subsequently served as the Chief of Staff, Central Command.


Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh lights victory flame to mark 20 years of Kargil War
On July 14, 2019, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh lit the victory flame to mark the 20th anniversary of the successful culmination of Operation VijayKargil Vijay Diwas -‘Remember, Rejoice and Renew’.  A relay of a Victory Flame is conducted from the National War Memorial (NMW) in New Delhi to Kargil War Memorial at Dras, Kargil District. Jammu and Kashmir. The Victory flame which symbolizes the coalescence of the souls of the Kargil War martyrs was handed over to ace army shooter Subedar Jitu Rai who represented India as the first torchbearer.

Key Points:
i. Journey: The Victory Flame will be carried by Indian Army’s outstanding sportsmen and war heroes which will pass through 9 major towns/cities of North India and end at the Karambhoomi of the martyrs at the Kargil War Memorial located at Dras on July 26, 2019. It will be received by the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.
ii. Victory Torch: The design of the Victory Torch is inspired by the grit, guts and glory displayed by the immortals who made the sacrifice for the motherland. The Torch is made of copper, brass, and wood which symbolizes the tenacity and determination of our fallen heroes. The upper portion of the Torch has a metal etching of the Amar Jawan, epitomizing the fallen Unknown soldiers. The lower wooden portion of the Torch has 20 gold embossed inscriptions of the Amar Jawan exemplifying 20 glorious years of the Kargil Victory.
About Kargil Vijay Diwas:
The Kargil war was fought between India and Pakistan for more than 60 days. It ended on 26 July, 1999 where India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July every year in honour of the Kargil War’s Heroes.

French government celebrates its National Day on 14 July 2019 (Bastille Day)
On July 14, 2019, The French government celebrated its National Day (also known as Bastille Day). It celebrates the actions of a mob of Frenchmen, tired of the rule of their king, who stormed a prison to get weapons & to free prisoners. The day marks the anniversary of the French revolution on 14 July 1789.
Key points:
i. It is officially known as la Fete Nationale (The national celebration) or commonly in France as La quatorze Juillet (the 14th of July).
ii. The Bastille, built in the 1300s, was a structure constructed to protect the city of Paris from attack by the English. Later, the fortress, a symbol of King Louis XVI’s rule, was used as a prison, mainly for more wealthy felons and spies. The first Bastille military parade celebration was held in 1880.
iii. The building itself was 100 feet tall and surrounded by an 80-foot wide moat.
iv. On this day the French people wear blue, white and red, “Tricolore” clothes or make-up and sing the French anthem.
About France:
♦ Capital
: Paris
♦ Currency: Euro, CFP Franc
♦ President: Emmanuel Macron
♦ Prime Minister: Édouard Philippe

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