Current Affairs July 20 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Central Govt approves Rs 206.8 crore for Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy Scheme
On July 18, 2019, The central government has approved a sum of Rs 206.8 crore for a Central Sector Scheme called ‘Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy’, which aims at double farmers’ income by the year 2022.
Key points:
i. Of the total amount, Rs 134.50 crore has been allotted to setup clusters for mangoes, pomegranate, and marine products, etc along with pre & post-harvest management of the production, upgrading the supply chain to achieve high exports.
ii. The scheme also entails the sum for post-harvest infrastructure in clusters, capacity building, grant towards Public-Private Partnership (PPP)for Integrated Agriculture Development (IAD) and laboratories.
iii. Background: ‘Agriculture Export Policy, 2018’ aims to double farm exports to $60 billion by the year 2022 from $30 billion in 2018 and for this it will invest Rs 1,400 crore to establish specialized clusters & give impetus to exports.
iv. In December 2018, the government approved a policy for agriculture, removing all restriction on organic and processed food under which norms for sensitive farm goods reviewed from time to time.

HRD Ministry launches new UGC Scheme “Paramarsh” For Higher Education
On July 19, 2019, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) launched a Scheme called “Paramarsh” of University Grants Commission (UGC) in New Delhi.ParamarshKey points:
i. About Paramarsh
Aim: This scheme aims at mentoring National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) accreditation aspirant institutions to develop quality assurance in Higher Education.
Mentorship: Under the scheme, the prime Mentoring institutions will provide regular mentoring to colleges to help achieve high-quality standards. For mentoring they will get the financial assistance & also the option of appointing an expert, who can be paid a fellowship amount of Rs 31,000 per month.
Hub & Spoke model: The Scheme will be implemented through a “Hub & Spoke” model where mentor institution -called ‘Hub’ has the responsibility of guiding mentee institution (through secondary branches ‘Spoke’) for self-improvement.
Target: For mentoring, the scheme targets 1000 Higher Education Institutions.
Benefits:
i.
The scheme enhances the overall quality of the mentee institutions and enhances its profile as a result of improved quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies.
 ii. It will help in providing quality education to the 3.6 crore students who enrolled in Indian Higher Education system.
 iii. The mentor institution will also get NAAC accreditation.
Feature: It will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge, information, and opportunities for research collaboration and faculty development in Mentee Institutions.
About NAAC:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Founded: 1994
♦ Chairman: Dr. Virander S. Chauhan
About UGC:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Chairman: D.P. Singh

Australia-India finalize a new veterinary health protocol
Australia and India recently finalized a new veterinary health protocol for the export of Australian breeder sheep to India. To mark the occasion, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, hosted an event where the protocol was exchanged with Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Tarun Shridhar.Australia-India Australia and India’s agricultural relationship
i. Australia and India have the foundations of its agriculture relationship over decades, with cooperation on wheat and wool stemming since 1960.
ii. The protocol, agreed between the Indian Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and the Australian Department of Agriculture, will support India’s efforts to develop its fine wool sector and the textiles industry using Australian production expertise and genetic stock.
Australian sheep import
i. Australian sheep will be part of a sheep breeding program for wool development, an initiative under India’s National Livestock Mission.
ii. It is expected that the first sheep will arrive in India in September-October 2019 for settling at the Uttarakhand State Wool Development Board.
About National Livestock Mission
National Livestock Mission is an initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. The mission, which commenced from 2014-15, has the objective of sustainable development of the livestock sector.

WB govt will sign MoU with British Council to improve the spoken English skills of students studying in polytechnic colleges 
The technical education department of West Bengal (WB) will sign an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the British Council to improve the English speaking skills of the students studying in Polytechnic Colleges in the state.
Key points:
i. It aims at making the student’s job-ready soon after they completed their courses and are able to meet the demands of the industry by improving their speaking as well as writing skills.
ii. An inquiry to assess job readiness of students was conducted by British Council reveals that communication in English was found as a major hurdle among students. It also suggested arranging for some training to brush up spoken and written English skills.
iii. At present, there are 148 polytechnic colleges across the state, which include government as well as the private ones.
iv. The focus area will be the vocational training as per the demands of the industry.
About West Bengal:
♦ Capital: Kolkata
♦ Chief minister: Mamata Banerjee
♦ National Parks: Buxa National Park ,Gorumara National Park ,Neora Valley National Park, Singalila National Park ,Sunderban National Park ,Jaldapara National Park.
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Ballavpur WLS, Bethuadahari WLS, Bibhuti Bhusan WLS, Buxa WLS, Chapramari WLS

8th edition of Hand-in-Hand Military exercise 2019 between India, China to be held in Meghalaya in December 2019
The 8th edition of Hand-in-Hand(HiH)Military exercise 2019 between India, China will be held in December 2019 at Umroi near Shillong in Meghalaya.
Key points:
i. The exercise will focus on transnational counter-terror operations, the establishment of a joint command post, joint combat, and HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) missions.
ii. The 7th edition was held at Chengdu, China in December 2018.
iii. HiH: The exercise was started in 2007 in Kunming. The drills got hindered in the 6th edition 2016 in Pune because of a 73-day standoff in Doklam in Sikkim sector of the border. between Indian and Chinese forces. In 2018, the situation eased and the troops of the two sides interacted once again in China.
About China:
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
♦ President: Xi Jinping
About Meghalaya:
♦ Capital: Shillong
♦ Governor: Tathagata Roy
♦ Chief Minister: Conrad Sangma

5th International Police Expo for the year 2019 held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
5th Edition of International Police Expo for the year 2019 was held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on July 19-20, 2019 with the theme “Challenges to Strengthen Peace and Security”. It was organized by Nexgen Exhibitions.5th International Police Expo Key Points:
i. The Expo focused on things related to police forces, their welfare and fitness and showcased the latest equipment required for safety and protection of society.
ii. It showcased advanced firearms, combat or armoured vehicles and a plethora of disruptive technologies in cyber security, drones, homeland security, and safety & rescue.
iii. More than 25 countries participated in the expo.
iv. More than 100 companies from Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan, China, United Kingdom, United States, Malaysia, Germany, Australia, Poland and other nations displayed the best and advanced technologies.

Ambikapur of Surguja district, Chhattisgarh gets India’s first ‘Garbage Cafe’ for Ragpickers
The municipal officials of Chhattisgarh have launched a unique garbage cafe scheme in Ambikapur of Surguja district which has become India’s first ‘Garbage Cafe’ for Ragpickers. The ragpickers and the homeless will collect plastic waste, and in return, the municipal corporation will offer them food. The fund allocated for this scheme is Rs. 5.5 lakh.Chhattisgarh gets India’s first ‘Garbage Cafe’Key Points:
i. Ragpickers who collect 1 kg of plastic waste will receive a full meal and those collecting 500g will be served breakfast. There is also a definitive plan to provide shelter to over 100 homeless people in the city.
ii. The plastic collected by the municipal corporation will be used to construct roads.
iii. Ambikapur city had received 5 star rating of ‘Garbage Free Cities’ and under Central government’s Swachh Survekshan 2019 rankings, it was declared India’s second cleanest city after Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
About Chhattisgarh:
Governor: Anusuiya Uikey
Chief Minister: Bhupesh Bagel
National Parks: Indravati (Kutru) National Park, Kanger Valley National Park, Guru Ghasi Das (Sanjay) National Park
Festivals: Rajim Kumbh Mela, Bhagoriya Festival, Bhoramdeo Mahotsav Festival, ChakradharFestival, Goncha Festival, Kajari Festival, Madai Festival
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Achanakmar WLS, Badalkhol WLS, Bhoramdev WLS, Sarangarh-Gomardha  WLS, Semarsot WLS, Sitanadi WLS, Tamor Pingla WLS, Udanti Wild Buffalo WLS, Pamed Wild Buffalo WLS, Bhairamgarh WLS, Barnawapara WLS

India’s first space tech park to come up in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 
The Kerala government will set up India’s first space tech park at Thiruvananthapuram’s Knowledge City with the entire investment made by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) which is a major space research centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It will make the city a manufacturing hub for space-related technology which will have a startup incubator, accelerators including Airbus Bizlab, skill training systems and production units.
Key Points:
i. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum will be a part of the infrastructure.
ii. Kerala government will lease 20.01 acres of land to the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) to develop the space park. Of this, 16.07 acres which has Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status will be denotified. KSITIL will hand over required land to ISRO to set up Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Knowledge Centre and Space Museum through a lease agreement.
iii. Santhosh Kurup, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kerala government-owned Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Academy, was appointed as the special officer of the space park project and Electronics and Information Technology (IT) Department of Kerala government will be the implementing agency.
About Kerala:
Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
Governor: Palanisamy Sathasivam
Dance Forms : Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Thirvathirakali, Kolkali, Ottamthullal, Koodiyattam, ChakyarKoothu,Theyyam
National Parks: Anamudi Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Periyar National Park,Silent Valley National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Aralam WLS, Chimmony WLS, Idukki WLS, Periyar WLS, Wayanad WLS, Peppara WLS, Neyyar WLS, Kurinjimala WLS, Malabar WLS etc

WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network and Telangana government signed a pact  for a pilot project ‘Medicine from the Sky’
On July 18, 2019, The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network and the Telangana government signed a pact for a pilot project called ‘Medicine from the Sky’ to deliver emergency medical supplies such as blood and vaccines via drones. It will run in partnership with the Telangana government and HealthNet Global Limited.Medicine from the Sky’ Key Points:
i. It will facilitate decision-making in healthcare supply chains, focus on last-mile deliveries and address issues of the medical distribution system.
ii. It will be an evidence-based approach for implementation of drones in healthcare.
About WEF:
Headquarters: Cologny, Geneva, Switzerland
Executive Chairman: Klaus Schwab
About Telangana:
Capital: Hyderabad
Chief Minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao
Governor: E. S. L. Narasimhan
Folk Dance: Perini Sivatandavam or Perini Thandavam, Oggu Katha and Lambadi
National Parks: Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park, Mahaveer Harina Vanasthali National Park and Mrugavani National Park

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

US imposed sanctions against Myanmar’s military chief & 3 others for killing of Rohingya Muslims
On July 16, 2019, The United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed that the US has imposed sanctions against Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Brigadier-General Than Oo and Brigadier General Aung Aung for gross human rights violations, including killing of Rohingya Muslims. The officers along with their family members are banned from entering the United States.
i. With this, the US became the first government to publicly take action with respect to the most senior leadership of the Burmese military.

Indian Navy’s frontline warship INS Tarkash reaches Sweden
On July 19, 2019, The Indian Naval Ship(INS) Tarkash reached Sweden on a three-day visit, as a part of Indian Navy’s mission of building “bridges of friendship” and strengthening international cooperation with friendly countries. This marks the first visit of an Indian Naval Ship which made a port call at Karlskrona in Sweden shores after a gap of 15 years.
Key points:
i. Plan: Professional interactions, sports, and social engagements are planned with Sweden navy towards further enhancing maritime co-operation between the two forces.
ii. Tarkash: The ship is a part of the Indian Navy’s western fleet equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors capable of addressing threats in all three dimensions.
About Sweden:
♦ Capital: Stockholm
♦ Currency: Swedish krona
♦ Prime minister: Stefan Löfven

BANKING & FINANCE

World Bank decides not to fund for Andhra’s ambitious Amaravati capital city project
On July 19, 2019, After the central government dropped support, The World Bank had withdrawn $300 million of fund for Amaravati Capital City project in Andhra Pradesh, the ambitious project of former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Key points:
i. Co-finance: The project was to be co-financed by another multilateral funding agency Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which had committed $200 million.
ii. Reason: The move was taken after the Environmental activists, farmers, and civil society organizations opposed this project for building the city on Krishna river floodplains.
iii. Background: The capital city project was a vision of former Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu to build a world-class capital spread over 217 square kilometers is being implemented by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA).
iv. Coverage: The project covered basic urban and pro-poor infrastructure, roads to integrate various habitations, upgrading water supply, sewage and drainage in some key villages.
About Andra Pradesh
♦ Governor
: Biswabhusan Harichandan
♦ Chief minister: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
♦ National Parks: Sri Venkateswara National Park ,Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Papikonda National Park
About World Bank:
♦ Headquarters
: Washington, D.C, U.S.
♦ President: David Malpass
♦ Chief Executive Officer: Kristalina Georgieva
About AIIB:
♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China
♦ President: Jin Liqun
♦ Formation: January 16, 2016

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

GeM, SAIL ink pact to set up project management unit
Public procurement portal Government eMarketplace (GeM) inked pact with SAIL in presence of Steel Secretary, Binoy Kumar. With this MoU, SAIL became the first public sector undertaking to establish Gem Organizational Transformation Team-Project Management Unit (GOTT-PMU).GeM, SAILAbout SAIL
♦ Headquarters– New Delhi
♦ Founded– 19 Jan 1954
♦ CEO- Anil Kumar Chowdhary

Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline to start commercial operation from August 2019
The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) successfully concluded the ‘testing transfer’ of Rs 325 crore Motihari in Bihar to Amelkhgunj in Nepal pipeline project and it is set to start commercial operation from August 2019. The 69-km long petroleum pipeline was constructed by India which was first proposed in 1996.
Key Points:
i. It will tackle the oil storage problem in Nepal and eliminate transportation of petroleum products through tankers.
ii. It will ensure smooth, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly supply of petroleum products to Nepal.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Six states including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal get new Governors
In a major reshuffle, six states now get new governors. The appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices.new Governors Here’s the look at new governors and their predecessors

S.NoState NameNew GovernorsPredecessors
1Madhya PradeshLal Ji TandonAnandi Ben Patel
2Uttar PradeshAnandi Ben PatelRam Naik
3BiharPhagu ChauhanLal Ji Tandon
4West BengalJagdeep DhankharKeshari Nath Tripathi.
5TripuraRamesh BaisKaptan Singh Solanki
6NagalandRN RaviPadmanabha Acharya
Key Highlights:
i.  This is the first time that UP(Uttar Pradesh) get a woman Governor as Anandi Ben Patel since its inception in 1950. Sarojini Naidu was the first Governor in 1947 but the state was then known as the United Provinces.
ii. Sitting Rajya Sabha member Anusuiya Uikey and senior BJP leader Biswa Bushan Harichandan were appointed as governors of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh respectively earlier.

2004 batch IFS officer Vivek Kumar to take charge as Private Secretary to PM Modi
As per the order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India, 2004 batch IFS officer(Indian Foreign Service), Vivek Kumar has been appointed as private secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He replaces Sanjeev Kumar Singla, who has been appointed India’s ambassador to Israel.
Key points:
i. The appointment will come into effect from the day of the assumption of charge& his tenure will be on the co-terminus basis or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
ii. Kumar is currently working as a Director in the Prime Minister’s Office(PMO).
iii. In 2014, Mr. Singla (1997 batch IFS officer) was appointed PS to Prime Minister Modi.

Upender Singh Rawat appointed as India’s next Ambassador to Panama
On July 19, 2019, Ministry of External Affairs appointed Shri Upender Singh Rawat as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Panama. He is a 1998 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer. He succeeds Ravi Thapar.
About Republic of Panama:
Capital: Panama City
Currency: Panamanian balboa, US Dollar

Sanjeev Kumar Singla, PS to PM, appointed as India’s Ambassador To Israel
On July 19, 2019, Ministry of External Affairs appointed Shri Sanjeev Kumar Singla as the next Ambassador of India to the State of Israel. He is a 1997 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer. He is serving as the Private Secretary (PS) to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi since 2014. He succeeds Pavan Kapoor.Sanjeev Kumar SinglaAbout Israel:
Capital: Jerusalem
Currency: Israeli new shekel

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Ebix acquired Yatra Online for $337.8 million
US-based software firm Ebix Inc acquired online travel portal Yatra Online Inc., for an enterprise value of $337.8 million (Rs 2,325 crore) in an all-stock transaction. Yatra will become part of Ebix’s travel portfolio, EbixCash.Ebix acquired Yatrai. After the deal, EbixCash became India’s largest and most profitable travel services company.
About Ebix Inc:
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia, US
CEO: Robin Raina

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Indian Army successfully conducted the trials of third Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile- NAG at Pokhran, Rajasthan
The Indian Army successfully conducted the trials of third-generation anti-tank guided missile NAG, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), at Pokhran, Rajasthan from July 7-18, 2019. It was launched from the NAG Missile Carrier (NAMICA) and is capable of carrying up to 6 combat missiles. It will be inducted in the Indian Army.
Key Points:
i. It will be engaged in highly fortified enemy tanks in all weather conditions with day and night capabilities.
ii. It has a minimum range of 500 metres and maximum range of four kilometres.
iii. 6 missions were carried out under extreme temperature in Pokhran ranges as a part of the NAG summer user trials. The winter user trials were conducted in February 2019.
About DRDO:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 1958
Motto: “Strength’s Origin is in Science”
Chairman:  Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy
About Indian Army:
Chief of Army Staff: General Bipin Rawat
Motto: Service Before Self
Headquarters: New Delhi

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SPORTS

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju unveiled AIFF Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20
On July 19, 2019, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju unveiled All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20 on the sidelines of the Intercontinental Cup in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. At the event, he also renamed the ‘AIFF Baby Leagues’ to ‘AIFF Golden Baby Leagues’, with the focus laid for ages under 6 to under 12 both for girls and boys.AIFF Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20 Key Points:
i. The Minister was accompanied by AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.
ii. The handbook, which can be downloaded from the ‘Document Library’ of the AIFF website, will serve as a guide to help the stakeholders to organize the Golden Baby League.
About Ministry of Sports:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Child Agency: Sports Authority of India (SAI)

Rani Banga wins gold at the Israel rhythmic gymnastics annual Championship
Rani Banga won a gold medal in the Rope exercise and a silver medal in the clubs exercise at the annual Championship held at Holon, northern city of Israel. She also recently bagged a gold medal and a Silver Medal at the 2019 Pirueta cup in Croatia.
About Israel
♦ Capital– Jerusalem
♦ Currency- Israeli new shekel

2nd Edition of Hero Intercontinental Cup football tournament for the year 2019 won by North Korea
In the finals of the Second edition of Hero Intercontinental Cup football tournament held at The Arena by TransStadia, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, North Korea won the title by defeating Tajikistan by a solitary goal. The tournament was held from July 7-19, 2019. India got the 4th spot in the tournament.
Key Points:
i. The Koreans grabbed the lead in the 71st minute through the goal hit by Pak Hyon Il.
ii. The champions received $50,000 and the runners-up received $25,000.
iii. The top scorers of the tournament were Sunil Chhetri of India and Jong Il-gwan of North Korea who hit 3 goals each.
iv. The Best player of the tournament was Jong Il-gwan.
About Hero Intercontinental Cup:
Organizers: All India Football Federation (AIFF)
AIFF president: Praful Patel

Anahat Singh and Neel Joshi won Dutch Junior Open Squash 2019
Dutch Junior Open Squash Tournament 2019 was held at Amsterdam, Netherlands. Anahat Singh won the title in girls U-13 by beating England’s Lauren and Neel Joshi won the title in U-17 category by beating English opponent Hassan Khalil.
About Dutch Junior Open Squash:
Organizers: Dutch Squash Federation & European Squash Federation (ESF)

CAP became the Full Member of BCCI
On July 17, 2019, The Cricket Association of Puducherry (CAP) became the newest associate member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) accepted their proposal. The final decision in favour of the CAP was taken by the Supreme Court-appointed CoA.
Key Points:
i. CAP will represent the Union Territory ahead of the Pondicherry Cricket Association – Kalaimani and Pondicherry Cricket Association – Velmurugan, who were the other two parties that had claimed the status for an associate membership.
About Puducherry:
Chief Minister: V. Narayanasamy
Lieutenant Governor: Kiran Bedi

Nigerian footballer John Obi Mikel announces retirement
On July 18, 2019, Nigerian footballer John Obi Mikel, aged 32, announced retirement from international football after the end of Nigeria’s campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). He made his debut in 2003 in under 17 World Cup.John Obi Mikel Key Points:
i. He was the former captain of the Nigeria National Team and played for Trabzonspor as a defensive midfielder.
ii. He won 89 caps and scored six goals between 2005 and 2019 for the Super Eagles. He won a winners’ medal at the 2013 Africa Cup in South Africa.
iii. He led Nigeria to win a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.
iv. He represented Nigeria in 2014 and 2018 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup, won the AFCON in 2013 and 2 Premier League titles along with the Champions League and Europa League trophies while representing English club side Chelsea.

OBITUARY

Argentine architect & creator of Petronas Twin Towers passed away
Argentine architect Cesar Pelli, who designed New York’s World Financial Center and Kuala Lumpur’s(Malaysia) Petronas Twin Towers( a 452m high structure that was the world’s tallest building when it was completed in 1998) has passed away at the age of 92.Argentine architect Cesar PelliKey points:
i. He was born on 12 October 1926 in the city of San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina.
ii. He studied architecture at the University of Tucuman and in 1977, he became dean of Yale University’s School of Architecture.
iii. Pelli’s famous works include Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, London’s Canary Wharf Tower, and a terminal at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
iv. His last project was the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, which is the tallest skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline, with a top roof height of 970 feet (296 m).
v. In 1995, Pelli won the American Institute of Architects(AIA) gold medal.

Former 3 time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit passed away in New Delhi
On July 20, 2019, Former 3-time chief minister of Delhi from Congress Sheila Dikshit passed away at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla in New Delhi due to cardiac arrest. She was 81 years old.Sheila Dikshit Key Points:
i. Born on March 31, 1938, in Kapurthala, Punjab, she had served as the president of Delhi Congress, chief minister of Delhi for 15 years from 1998-2013 and the governor of Kerala.
ii. She became a Member of Parliament (MP)  for the first time from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in 1984.
iii. She was appointed as the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee in 2019 and contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha election against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Manoj Tiwari from the North-East Delhi parliamentary seat.
iv. The longest-serving chief minister of Delhi was the recipient of 2010 Dara Shikoh award by Indo-Iran Society and Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award 2013 by All Ladies League for Outstanding Public Service.
About New Delhi:
CM: Arvind Kejriwal
Lieutenant Governor: Anil Baijal

STATE NEWS

Parliament passes Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009
On July 19, 2019, The Parliament of India passed  Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2019, for the establishment of two Central Universities in Andhra Pradesh namely Central University and Tribal University. The bill seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009.
Key points:

i. Allocation: These two universities will be set up with the cost of Rs.1700 crore in four years in Andhra Pradesh.
In the 1st phase, Rs.450 crore will be provided for Central University against the total outlay of Rs 902.07 crore and Rs.420 crore for Central Tribal University against the outlay of Rs 836 crore.
ii. Benefits: The establishment will increase access and quality of higher education in the state. It will also facilitate and promote avenues of higher education and research facilities for the people of the State.
iii. Central University: For establishing a Central University by the name of the Central University of Andhra Pradesh in Janthaluru Village of Ananthapur was approved by the cabinet on May 2018.
iv.Central Tribal University: It will be set up in Relli village in Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh. It will be established under 13th Schedule to Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
v. Central Universities Act, 2009: It establishes universities for teaching and research in various states.

Delhi Govt celebrates 15-day “Happiness Utsav” in all its schools
On July 17, 2019, To celebrate the completion of a year of introduction of its happiness curriculum, Delhi Government launched a 15-day “Happiness Utsav” across all its 1,031 schools.Happiness Utsav Key Highlights:
During the event, the first 50 minutes of each school day, all students schools will take part in various activities like ‘nataks’ (dramas), poetry recitation and exhibitions. The festival will conclude on July 31, 2019.
e-challan system, e-payment gateway for Delhi Traffic Police
On July 19, 2019, New e-challan system and the e-payment gateway for the use of Delhi Traffic Police launched by Amulya Patnaik, Delhi Police Commissioner in New Delhi. With this launch, traffic violators can now pay fine from anywhere online.
Key points:
i. The new e-challan system launched with 1,000 hand-held devices & are equipped with active GPS( Global Positioning System) where the challenging officer and the violator, both can be logged and tracked to a particular geo-location. Further, the camera violation app is also connected to the e-challan system, so that the data is updated regularly.
ii. The system is developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) with key inputs from Delhi Police.
iii. The new system is likely to result in improved prosecution and better road safety standards in Delhi.

Maharashtra government raises financial aid for martyrs’ kin to Rs 1crore
State Government of Maharashtra increased the financial aid to families of Jawans Martyred in war or war like situations and to disabled soldiers hailing from the state from Rs 25 lakhs to Rs 1 crore.
i. The government will provide Rs 60 lakh instead of the current Rs 15 lakh to soldiers if their disability is severe, as 51% to 100%.
ii. Those with 25% disability will be given assistance of Rs 20 lakh from Rs 5lakh.
iii. Those with a disability up to 50% will be given assistance of Rs 34 lakh from Rs 8.5lakh.
More about Maharashtra cabinet:
Recently Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis inducted 13 new ministers in the cabinet.
i. Out of the total 13 ministers,eight are of cabinet rank and the rest five are ministers of state.
ii. It is also to be noted that 6 ministers from the present cabinet were dropped as well. With the expanded cabinet many young and new faces got a place in the cabinet.
iii. RadhakrishnaVikhe Patel, from Congress, was the first person to be sworn in as cabinet minister in among the recently inducted 13 cabinet ministers

Odisha Government anticipates new Industrial Policy to attract new investments
The Odisha government is planning to recast its Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) which was last revised in 2015 keeping competition from peer states to attract new investments with an aim to make Odisha, one among the top 3 states in ‘Ease of Doing Business’. The new policy statement will be unveiled in 2020.
Key Points:
i. In the revised IPR, Odisha Government plans to offer investors sops like SGST (State Goods & Services Tax) holiday & electricity duty exemption for 5 years, sweeten the subsidy on fresh capital investments by existing and prospective investors, envisage industrial parks for each of the focus sectors and creation of industrial corridors to set up small & medium enterprises across the state.
ii. A suitable interest subvention scheme will be introduced for the extension of credit at concessional rates to the eligible micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs).
iii. In order to boost investments in the state, the industries department has launched several investor-friendly apps and a definitive portal- Government of Odisha Single Window Investor Facilitation & Tracking- GOSWIFT. It tracks the entire life cycle of an investment- beginning from proposal to implementation and beyond.
iv. The new policy statement will be valid for at least 5 years from the date of its promulgation.
About Odisha:
Capital: Bhubaneshwar
Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik
Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal
National Parks:  Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park
Dance forms: Odissi, Chhau, Gotipua, Danda Nata, Sambapuri, Dalkhai, Chaitighoda, and Medha Nacha
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Badrama WLS, Chandaka Dampara WLS, Chilika (Nalaban)  WLS, Debrigarh WLS, Karlapat WLS, Kotagarh WLS, Nandankanan WLS, Sunabeda WLS etc.

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