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Parliament passed Aadhaar Amendment Bill which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity
On July 8, 2019, Parliament passed Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity for users to open bank accounts and get a mobile phone connection. Key Points:
i. If private entities violate provisions on Aadhaar data, they will be imposed Rs 1 crore penalty and a jail term.
ii. The Bill provides the use of Aadhaar number for KYC (Know Your Customer) authentication on voluntary basis under the Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
MoFCC launches Immunocontraception Project
Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched a project for undertaking ‘immunocontraceptive measures’ for population management of 4 species of wild animals namely Elephant, Wild boar, Monkeys and Blue Bull (Nilgai).
i. Need: Human-elephant conflict caused the maximum number of casualties. Between 2014 and March 2019, 2,398 people died in an elephant attack in the country. West Bengal had a maximum number of such deaths.
ii. Immunocontraception: It is a birth control method that uses the body’s immune response to prevent pregnancy. It is a technology that uses a female animal’s immune system to build a protein around the egg that prevents it from fertilizing.
iii. Applicability: The Pilot project will begin in Uttarakhand and then implemented in rest of the country.
iv. Agency: The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Institute of Immunology (NII) are the bodies involved to develop a protocol of immunocontraception.
Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express to be first train operated by private players
Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express, one of the most-awaited trains on the route announced in 2016, is set to be the first train to be operated by private players. At present, it is parked at the Anandnagar Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh. It will be handed over to private players after an open bidding process for operationalization. Key Points:
i. Despite protests from Railway unions, the Indian Railways is going ahead with its 100-day agenda of handing over operations of 2 trains to the private sector.
ii. The custody of the trains will be transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will pay for it, including their lease charges to the financing arm, Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC). IRCTC will finalise the proposal by July 10, 2019 and submit it to the Railway Board.
iii. The Delhi-Lucknow route is served by 53 trains. It does not have a Rajdhani & Swarn Shatabdi, that has the highest demand on this route.
About Indian Railways:
♦ Union Minister of Railway: Piyush Goyal
♦ Chairman of Railway Board: Vinod Kumar Yadav
Two new heavy-lift Chinook helicopters for IAF arrived at the Mundra port, Gujarat
On July 8, 2019, Boeing, American aerospace company, informed the arrival of 2 new heavy-lift CH-47F (I) Chinooks helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Mundra port in Gujarat. It will provide IAF an unmatched strategic airlift capability. Key Points:
i. In 2015, IAF had ordered 15 Chinooks along with 22 Apache attack helicopters. The first 4 Chinooks were received in February, 2019.
ii. The CH-47 Chinook, advanced multi-mission helicopter, has unsurpassed ability to deliver heavy payloads to high altitudes. It is suitable for operations in the high Himalayas.
iii. It was battle-tested in diverse, extreme conditions throughout the world and has proven capability to operate in the wide range of conditions.
About Indian Air Force :
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 8 October 1932, India
♦ Attack: Jaguar, MiG-27, Harpy
♦ Fighters: Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Dassault Mirage 2000, Mikoyan MiG-29, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, HAL Tejas
♦ Chief of Air Staff(CAS): Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa
RBI’s Central Board of Directors’ 577th meeting held in New Delhi
On July 8, 2019, The 577th meeting of the Central Board of Directors of Reserve Bank of India(RBI) was held at New Delhi. Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, addressed the Directors of Central Board.
i. Current economic situation, global and domestic challenges and various areas of operations of the RBI & the importance of coordination between the Central Government and RBI were reviewed in the meeting.
ii. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Secretary (Investment and Public Asset Management) Atanu Chakraborty and Chief Economic Advisor Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian have also attended the meeting.
iii. The Board finalized the 3-year Medium-Term Strategy document which covers the Mission and Vision Statement of the Reserve Bank.
Under ‘Operation Milap’, the Delhi Police Crime Branch has rescued 333 children in 7 months
The Delhi Police Crime Branch has rescued 333 children, who had reported missing since January 2019 from various parts of the country. The crime branch took ‘Operation Milap’ under which the children are rescued and reunited with their respective families. Key points:
i. Recovery: Delhi police have also recovered 57 people, including 14 minors, who were kidnapped, abducted, or went missing from various areas in the national capital.
ii Rescue Spot: The children are mostly rescued from bus stands, railway stations and other crowded places in the city.
iii. Operation Milap: It was launched in December 2014 with the aim to rescue children. Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) has formed under the ‘Milap’ develops information, rescues the trafficked or kidnapped children and arrests the kidnappers.
iv. Advice: Under this ambitious initiative, counseling & requisite medical attention has also been given to the rescued children wherever required.
Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
Lt. Governor: Anil Baijal
Sharjah issues its first Golden card visa to an Indian Lalu Samuel, Chairman of Kingston Holdings
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs of Sharjah has granted the first golden card visa to an Indian expat businessman, Lalu Samuel, Chairman and Managing Director of Kingston Holdings and Chairman of Sharjah Industry Business Group. Key points:
i. Motive: The 10-year visa is a part of the long-term permanent residency system tailored for investors and entrepreneurs aims to attract capital, investments, and owners of leading companies, professionals, researchers and students to engage them in the renaissance and development of the UAE.
ii. Rights: The golden cardholders are entitled to have the privileges and facilities including a residency visa without a sponsor to them and their families and It also allows the visa holder to sponsor up to 3 workers and obtain a residency visa for one of his/her senior employees.
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham
♦ Prime Minister :Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
♦ President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
INS Tarkash reached Tangier in Morocco as part of a visit for overseas development programme
In an ongoing Overseas Deployment by the Indian Navy to the Mediterranean Sea, Africa and Europe, INS (Indian Navy Ship) Tarkash, a state-of-the-art stealth frigate of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons, reached at Tangier in Morocco as part of a visit of the 3-day visit. It seeks to strengthen the bonds of friendship between India and Morocco.
i. It is commanded by Captain Sathish Vasudev.
ii. It will take part in numerous professional, social and sporting interactions planned with the Royal Moroccan Navy and will carry out a Passage Exercise at sea with ships of the Royal Moroccan Navy.
iii. The ship is a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet and is under the operational Command of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI board has finalized a three- year roadmap ‘Utkarsh 2022’ to improve regulation & supervision
India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has finalized a three-year road map for medium-term objective named “Utkarsh 2022” for strengthening regulation, supervision of the central bank in a meeting in New Delhi.
i. The roadmap to be achieved in the next three years is in line with the global central bank’s plan.
ii. The strategy is that the central bank’s proactive role to avoid any other IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services) debt default issue in the future.
iii. An internal committee of RBI was formed under former Deputy Governor Viral Acharya, to identify issues that needed to be addressed over the next three years.
iv. The board also approved the RBI’s budget for the July 2019—June 2020 period in a meeting.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Six Sigma Healthcare proposed to set up Rs 750 crore project in Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand
The proposal for setting up the High Altitude Institute of mountain medicine, training and research center, given by the medical director of Six Sigma Healthcare, Dr Pradeep Bhardwaj was accepted by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat. Six Sigma healthcare, a company which operates hospitals in Kedarnath, Tungnath and Madmaheshwar, will set up Rs 750 crore project in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.
i. Objective: To develop research in Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Yoga concerning High Altitude Mountains and to educate professionals in mountain medicines.
ii. Service: The institute will train armed forces and paramilitary personnel in Mountain Medicines, offer courses in mountains medicines and high altitude rescue, train local people, schools, colleges in high altitude rescue and disaster, help in checking migration and provide employment opportunities for locals.
iii. Honours: CM felicitated Dr Pradeep Bhardwaj, Dr Arvind Kumar, Dr Parvej Ahmed, Dr Anita Bhardwaj, Bhim Bahadur and Debjit Nayak.
♦ Capital: Dehradun
♦ 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
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Toran Yadav, a para-athlete wins 3 medals at 4th World Wealth Yoga Championship 2019
Toran Yadav(19), a specially-abled boy from Khatti village in Chhattisgarh clinched 3 medals for India at 4th World Yoga Festival and Championship 2019, held at Bulgaria, Sofia.
i. He strikes two silver medals in the rhythmic pair and artistic pair and a bronze medal in athletic yoga.
ii. He started yoga from the age of 9 and was selected to represent India.
♦ Capital: Sofia
♦ Currency: Bulgarian Lev
♦ Prime Minister: Boyko Borisov
♦ President: Rumen Radev
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Kyriakos Mitsotakis sworn in as the new prime minister of Greece
On July 8, 2019, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, aged 51, of New Democratic Party was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Greece. He received 39.85% of the votes against 31.53% for Syriza, led by outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.Key Points:
i. The New Democracy party won 158 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament.
ii. The centre-left Movement for Change (KINAL) received 8.1% votes, followed by the Communist Party with 5.3%, newcomer Greek Solution, a far-right party, received 3.7% votes and MeRa 25, another recently formed party led by Yanis Varoufakis, a former Syriza finance minister received 3.44% votes.
♦ Capital: Athens
♦ Currency: Euro
Rahul Dravid, former Indian cricketer, appointed as Head of Cricket at NCA by BCCI
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed the former Indian captain Rahul Dravid as Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). He will look after all cricket related activities at NCA. He will be involved in mentoring, coaching, training and motivating players, coaches and support staff at the NCA.i. He will work with the National men’s and women’s Head coaches and coaches for India Developmental teams including India A, India Under 19, India Under 23 teams.
LinkedIn chooses Ashutosh Gupta as country manager for India
American business and employment-oriented service, LinkedIn appointed Ashutosh Gupta as its new country manager for India effective September 2, 2019. He will replace Mahesh Narayanan, who was the country manager for India from January to June 2019.
i. In 2013, Gupta joined LinkedIn as the head of Marketing Solutions (LMS) business in India, and in 2016 he moved to Singapore to build LMS’ Online Sales Organisation (OSO) for the Asia Pacific(APAC) and China.
ii. He will report to Olivier Legrand, LinkedIn’s Managing Director(MD) for the APAC and he will continue to lead the LMS’s OSO.
iii. He is an alumnus of IIM-Lucknow and IIT (BHU), Varanasi. He worked in organisations like Google, Cognizant, and Infosys. He also had two decades of experience on the internet and IT and software services industries
iv. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has over 630 million users globally and more than 57 million members in India.
♦ CEO: Jeff Weiner
♦ Founded: 2002
♦ Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California, United States
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Real estate groups CapitaLand Limited completes $8 bn acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge
Asia’s largest real estate company CapitaLand Limited (Singapore) completed acquisition worth of US$8 billion (singapore$11 billion) Ascendas-Singbridge Pte. Ltd owned by Temasek Holdings.This acquisition is one of Asia’s largest diversified real estate groups with 123 billion Singapore dollars Asset Under Management(AUM).
i. From July 1, 2019, CapitaLand Group will operate as a unified entity as it marks the coming together of two leading real estate players and possess competency in four core markets namely, Singapore, China, India, and Vietnam at large scale.
ii. With this deal, Temasek, which had a 40.8% stake in CapitaLand before the deal, now holds about 51% in the company.
iii. The expansion will put CapitaLand’s(manages 8 listed REITs and business trusts as well as over 20 private funds) assets below $ 100 billion by 2020, placing it among the world’s top 10 real estate investment managers, and turning it into a manager of three largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
♦ CEO: Chee Koon Lee
♦ Headquarters: Singapore,
♦ Founded: 28 November 2000
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
DRDO conducted 3 tests of Nag Missile in a day in Pokhran, Rajasthan
On July 7, 2019, The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out 3 successful test firings of Nag missiles in one day (day & night) in Pokhran, Rajasthan. It is in the final stage to be inducted in the Indian Army.
i. Background: In 2018, the Defence Acquisition Council had approved the procurement of DRDO’s designed and developed NAG Missile System (NAMIS) at the cost of Rs 524 crore. NAMIS includes the Missile Carrier Vehicle (NAMICA).
ii. Nag Missile: It is a third generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile. It has top attack capabilities that can effectively engage and destroy all known enemy tanks during day and night. It is one of the first 5 strategic missiles which were planned to be developed under the Integrated Missile Development Programme initiated in the 1980s.
iii. Other Missiles: Under the Integrated Missile Development Programme, the other missiles include the Agni, Prithvi & Akash which were successfully developed and inducted into the armed forces and Trishul project was shut down after being developed as a technology demonstrator.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1958
♦ Motto: “Strength’s Origin is in Science”
♦ Chairman: Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy
Pune’s IITM has developed an extended range prediction system
Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) researchers have developed an extended range prediction system aims at the real-time monitoring and prediction of forthcoming heat waves 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
i. Heatwave prediction system: It has great potential in providing an advance indication about the onset, duration, and demise of the heat wave spell with a small spatial & temporal error with 70% accuracy.
ii. Since 2017 Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has been using this system and it had used it in 2019 to predict heat waves.
iii. Observation: During 1981 to 2017, 22 heat wave events of the northwest, 14 southeast coastal regions and 9 regions in the northwest-southeast region were experienced for more than eight days in each region during the summer season.
iv. Heatwave day: It is defined when either the maximum temperature is above 44° C, or when the region is facing unusually hot temperature/ when the temperature is more than 36 °C /when departure from the normal temperature is more than 3.5 °C.
Hollywood Actor Leonardo DiCaprio along with Laurene Powell Jobs & Brian Sheth to launch Earth Alliance to tackle climate change
Hollywood ‘Titanic’ fame actor and Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio along with Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs and billionaire investor Brian Sheth will launch a new alliance named Earth Alliance to tackle climate change. It will work at multiple levels from providing grants and educational opportunities to engage indigenous and local communities. Key Points:
i. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will be converted into Earth Alliance as DiCaprio combines with Powell and Sheth.
ii. Sheth is a co-founder and president of the private equity fund Vista Equity Partners, board chair of the Global Wildlife Conservation and founder of the Sheth Sangreal Foundation.
iii. DiCaprio is the founding co-chair of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
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Mexico won CONCACAF Gold Cup title 2019 by beating USA
In the 15th edition of the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Gold Cup for the year 2019, Mexico’s men’s soccer team won the title by defeating United States men, the defending champions, with 1-0 in the final. It was the 8th title for Mexico. The biennial international men’s tournament was held from June 15 to July 7, 2019, and the host countries were the United States, Costa Rica & Jamaica. Key Points:
i. The final was held at Soldier Field, an American football stadium, near South Side of Chicago, Illinois.
ii. Jonathan dos Santos scored the only goal for Mexico.
iii. Raúl Jiménez of Mexico was named as the Best Player, Christian Mate Pulisic of America was named as the Best Young Player, Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico was the Best Goalkeeper and Fair Play Award was won by the United States.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Coffee Table Book commemorating 5 decades of partnership with UNWFP launched
On July 8, 2019, Coffee Table Book commemorating 50 years of partnership with UN-WFP (United Nation World Food Programme) towards food and nutrition security in India has been launched by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare along with Dr. Hameed Nuru, Representative, and Country Director, UNEP.
i. UN World Food Programme partnered with the agriculture Ministry to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG ) which includes ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
ii. The book showcases key milestones achieved by the Government of India in its efforts to make the nation free from hunger and malnutrition in 2030 and WFP’s role in this endeavor.
♦ Headquarters: Rome, Italy
♦ Head: David Beasley
♦ Founded: 1961
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food assistance branch of the United Nations. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
it provides food assistance to an average of 91.4 million people in 83 countries each year.
”War over Words: Censorship in India, 1930-1960” authored by Devika Sethi released
The book titled “War over Words: Censorship in India, 1930-1960” authored by Devika Sethi who teaches modern Indian history at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Mandi was released. It explains the state censorship in India in the transition period from colonial to national rule, when historical actors behaved in unpredictable ways.i. It is published by Cambridge University Press.
ii. It is divided into 4 parts.
‘Meri Fasal Mera Byora’ portal for farmers launched by Haryana Government
On July 4, 2019, The Chief Minister of Haryana Government Manohar Lal Khattar has launched online portal named “Meri Fasal Mera Byora” (https://www.fasalhry.in/ )for farmers to directly avail crop related benefits of state government schemes after self -reporting their land and crop-related details. Key points:
i. Mandate: The farmers who will register on the portal required to upload information like the name of crop sown, area under cultivation, cropping month, bank account number and mobile number at Common Service Centres (CSCs) or Atal Seva Kendras (ASK) or with the help of VLEs (Village Level Entrepreneurs )by end of July.
ii. Encouragement: Each farmer, who registered on the portal get a financial incentive of Rs 10 per acre or part thereof subject to a minimum of Rs 20 to maximum Rs 50.
iii. Benefits: It will enable farmers to avail the subsidy on agriculture implements easily & make damage assessment during natural calamities and disbursal of relief in cases of crop damage easier and other financial assistance under different schemes.
iv.Vision: The state government will get the accurate data of area and name of crop cultivated in various parts of the state and it is a step forward towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling the farmer’s income by 2022.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Governor: Satyadev Narayan Arya
♦ National Parks: Sultanpur National Park Kalesar National Park
Puducherry will soon to operationalize Bicycle-Sharing Scheme
In an innovative eco-friendly initiative of bicycle-sharing in the city, a Bicycle-Sharing Scheme, conceived and prioritized under Puducherry Smart City Development Plan, is to be introduced in Puducherry.
i. Docking stations: Around 100 spots have been identified for cycle docking stations where the bicycles can be left at any of the docking stations after the usage by the registered customers. 20 docking stations with 10 -15 cycles are to be set up in places like the beach promenade, Bharathi Park, Gandhi Thidal, Aurobindo ashram, and railway station.
ii. P-P-P model: This scheme is one among the 22 prioritized schemes of the Puducherry Smart City Project under the public-private partnership model(P-P-P) for which about 194 crore rupees would be spent.
iii. Benefit: Tourists and residents of Puducherry will be highly relieved of the traffic congestion, pollution problems in the city and will enjoy their trip.
♦ Lt. Governor: Dr. Kiran Bedi
♦ Chief minister: V. Narayanasamy
Five important bills passed by Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
On July 9, 2019, On the second day of the three-day budget session, Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed 5 important bills unanimously through voice vote.
i. Arunachal Pradesh Lokayukta Amendment Bill 2019: Home Minister of the state Blaming Felix introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Lokayukta Amendment Bill 2019 to amend the state Lokayukta Act 2014.
ii. Arunachal Pradesh Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2019: Chief Minister Pema Khandu introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Goods and Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2019. It seeks to amend the existing GST Act 2017.
iii. Arunachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Bill, 2019: Town Planning and Urban Local Bodies Minister Kamlung Mosang introduced the Arunachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Bill, 2019. It will make a legal framework and put a mechanism in place for the establishment and constitution of municipal corporation in the state.
iv. Other 2 Bills: Education Minister Taba Tedir and Health Minister Alo Libang introduced the Arunachal Pradesh State Higher Education Council Bill 2019 and Arunachal Pradesh Protection of Medical Service Personnel and Medical Service Institution (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property) Bill 2019 respectively.
v. Speaker Passang Dorjee Sona announced the names of Congress MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) Wanglin Lowangdong, NPP (National People’s Party) member Mutchu Mithi and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) legislators Jambey Tashi and Nyato Rigia for the panel of chairmen for the current session.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Capital: Itanagar
♦ Governor: Brig (Retd) B D Mishra
♦ National Parks: Mouling National Park, Namdapha National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: D’Ering Memorial (Lali) WLS, Dibang WLS, Eaglenest WLS, Itanagar WLS, Kamlang WLS, Kane WLS, Mehao WLS, Pakhui/ Pakke WLS, Sessa Orchid WLS, Tale Valley WLS
Maharashtra Govt approves Rs 3500 cr for a multi-modal integration project
On July 8, 2019, The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis has approved Rs 3500 crore for multi-modal integration project at the 148th board meeting of the MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority ) in Mumbai. It will help commuters enjoy the smooth commuting experience.
i. Indian Port Rail and Ropeway Corporation Ltd (IPRCL) was also appointed to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for ropeway projects between Malad to Marve and Gorai to Borivali – both 4.5km projects in the state.
ii. These projects can establish East-West Connectivity along with connectivity to Malad Metro station and Gorai Jetty.
iii. Financing Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation (KDIC) for the construction of Kavdas Dam is another important step taken by authorities.
♦ Capital: Mumbai
♦ Governor: C. Vidyasagar Rao
♦ Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis.
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