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Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu becomes first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign an MOU with Rwanda
On July 10, 2018, Shri Venkaiah Naidu became the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign MOU with the visiting President of the Senate of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza on his visit during 09 to 11, July 2018.
i. This is the first time that Rajya Sabha entered into an MOU in its 76 years of existence.
The MOUs signed were:
i. The three Senator delegation from Rwanda led by Shri Makuza is the first such a delegation exclusively from the Upper House of any country to visit India.
ii. Dignitaries include Senators Ms. Gertrude Kazarwa, Deputy Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Political Affairs and Good Governance and Ms. Therese Kagoyire Vishagara, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security.
iii. 6 articles of cooperation seeking to promote Inter-Parliamentary dialogue, Capacity building of parliamentary staff, Organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programmes, workshops and exchanges, Collaboration in mutual interest in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies.
i. Rwanda has being elected as the Chair of the African Union in January 2018.
ii. It has successfully hosted Assembly of the African Union in March in capital Kigali. This resulted in the signing of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement.
iii. Parliament of Rwanda for having 60% of women legislatures.
Currency: Rwandan franc.
‘One farmer one transformer’: scheme launched to reduce electricity losses from Aug 15
On July 10, 2018, Energy Minister of government of Maharashtra Chandrashekhar Bawankule announced that the state government will launch a scheme for the farmers from August,2018.
i. The scheme is called “one farmer one transformer”.
ii. It will be launched on 15th August,2018.
iii. The objective of the scheme is to reduce electricity losses.
iv. Two lakh farmers will be given electricity connection for high voltage distribution line which will ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Electricity losses are a whopping 50 per cent in some places and the government wants to bring it down to 15 per cent.
Other announcements by the state government:
i. Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar announced a Rs 2 lakh hike in the compensation given to the kin ofpeople killed in attack by wild animals.
ii. Under this, each affected family will now get Rs 10 lakh instead of Rs 8 lakh earlier. Rs 3 lakh will be given in cash and remaining as deposit.
iii.Also farmers who lose their cattle in attack by wild animals will now get Rs 40,000, up from Rs 25,000 earlier.
UNESCO Heritage Sites in Maharashtra:
Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Kailasa Temple (Ellora).
Maharashtra govt schools to get electricity at lower rates
On July 10, 2018, Education Minister of Maharashtra Government Vinod Tawde announced the launch of a scheme for electrification of schools in the state.
i. Under the scheme, state-run schools will be provided electricity at government rates and the bill amount will be directly deposited in their accounts.
ii. The budgetary provision for school education includes funds for digital schools, educational material and computerisation, among others.
iii. Additionally, the education department will join hands with the Zilla parishad to conduct a structural audit of all schools in the state.
i. 13,844 schools in the state don’t have electricity and 44,330 students are not aware of computer.
ii. Seven of the 36 districts in the state have 100 per cent digital schools and 1.7 lakh teachers have become tech- savvy.
Gujarat’s government gives religious minority status to its Jewish community
On July 10, 2018, The Gujarat government has given religious minority status to its Jewish Community .
i. It was issued by the state’s Department of Social Justice and Empowerment.
strong>ii. hey will be given benefits of social welfares within the state.
iii. The jewish community is very small in the state with no more than 170 members and the majority is located in Ahmedabad.
iv. This is done on the backdrop of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani’s commitment to grant religious minority status to the community during his trip to Israel.
v. Gujarat had also hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his six-day India visit in January this year.
UNESCO Heritage Site in Gujarat:
Rani ki vav, Historic City of Ahmedabad, Champaner-Pavagarh Archeological Park.
Varanasi would be the host of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019
On July 10, 2018, It was announced that the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in the holy city of Varanasi in January 2019.
i. The theme of the three-day event will be the ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India’.
ii. Events scheduled to happen on that day : Ganga aarti in Varanasi, Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.
iii. Varanasi is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency.
Bengaluru, Delhi top in startup funding : report by CB Insights
On July 10, 2018, according to a report by US venture capital and startup data base CB Insights, New Delhi and Bengaluru had among the highest number of startup investment rounds greater than $100 million since 2014.
i. Bengaluru had (21) and New Delhi (18)
ii. Each of the Indian cities had about the same number as London(19), and significantly higher numbers than Boston (13) and Tel Aviv (2), cities that are often regarded as strong startup hubs.
iii. Some of the big-ticket deals in India included those to Flipkart, Ola and Paytm, and to those like online grocer Bigbasket ($300 million in series-E funding led by Alibaba) and Swiggy’s $100-million fund-raise led by South African internet and media giant Naspers.
iv. The big acceleration for Indian companies came from Japanese internet giant SoftBank that has invested more than $7 billion in the Indian ecosystem, including in Flipkart and Ola.
The Rounds greater than $100 M since 2014 are:
|Startup Hubs||Number of investment round > $100 million since 2014|
Nickname of Indian Cities:
Electronic City of India , Garden City of India, Silicon Valley of India, Pensioners Paradise ,
Space City, Science city of India, IT Capital of India
New Delhi: City of Rallies.
China, India clinch deal to reduce tariffs on Indian medicines, anti-cancer drugs
On 9th July 2018, the Foreign Ministry announced that, India and China have reached an agreement regarding reduction of tariffs on the import of Indian medicines, cancer drugs, to China.
China, India clinch deal to reduce tariffs on Indian medicines, anti-cancer drugs:
i. Earlier, Beijing had announced a reduction on import duties on more than 8,500 Indian items.
ii. It has said that, it will relax taxes on more goods from India and other countries as its trade war with the US is in crucial stage.
iii. China has granted more access to Indian pharmaceutical companies, as per discussions between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Wuhan summit in April 2018.
iv. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was responding to a query about India’s decision to cut levies on 3,142 items from the member countries of Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. China is also a signatory of this.
v. She said that China will also impose a negotiated agreed tariff rate on relevant items as per its regulations.Both India and China slashed import tariffs on a range of products starting July the 1st, following the fourth round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), which also includes Bangladesh, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka.
Some important museums in India:
♦ Teen Murti Bhavan – New Delhi
♦ Sanskriti Kendra Museum – Delhi
♦ Shankar’s International Dolls Museum – Delhi
BANKING & FINANCE
ADB , Power Ministry and Finance Ministry approve lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad – Bhojpur region of Bihar
On July 10, 2018, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy Shri R.K Singh with the officials from ADB and Finance Ministry reviewed the progress of lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad – Bhojpur region of Bihar and ADB approved it.
i. ADB and Finance Ministry officials will fix a timeframe for the completion of the project.
ii. Finance Ministry will give permission to appoint consultants by 17th July, 2018 and ADB consultants will start their work by the end of July.
iii. The process of design study, consultation with stakeholders, feasibility report, preparation of tenders etc. and the tender for the first phase of the lining of the main canal and branches will be issued by the first week of October.
iv.The estimated cost of this project is USD 503 million (Rs 3272.49 crore) out of which USD 352 million is being provided by ADB.
v. This project will bring immense benefits to the agriculture sector of Shahabad – Bhojpur region of Bihar.
UNESCO Heritage site in Bihar:
Nalanda University, Bodh Gaya.
National Parks in Bihar:
Valmiki National Park, Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary, Gautam Buddha Wildlife Sanctuary.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Microsoft & Rajasthan govt sign MOU for digital training to 9,500 students
On July 10, 2018, Microsoft has signed an MoU with the Rajasthan government to provide free digital training to 9,500 college students for one year.
For the enhancement of digital learning and capacity building of college students in the state.
i.The MoU was signed for one year.
ii. The company will run MS office specialist training programme in 50 government colleges from August which will benefit 9,500 students.
iii. Successful participants will also be given certificates.
iv .Microsoft will also train educators from government colleges through the Microsoft Innovative Educator Programme, building capacity for innovative use of information and communications technology (ICT) in the classroom.
The state government had signed MoU with IGNOU for nearly two dozen courses on skill development in which 16,500 students are enrolled.
UNESCO Heritage Sites in Rajasthan:
Keoladeo National Park, Chittorgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar, Jaisalmer Fort.
Google announces Launchpad Accelerator India
On 10th July 2018, Google announced Launchpad Accelerator India, a new mentorship program that has been developed exclusively for startups based in India, utilising Machine Learning/AI to develop solutions for India’s local needs.
Google announces Launchpad Accelerator India:
i. Launchpad Accelerator India program has been developed after the success of the global Launchpad Accelerator program.
ii. It has been designed to develop the AI/ML ecosystem in India by enabling Indian startups to create scalable solutions for India’s unique problems.
iii. This is a 3 month accelerator. It will offer mentorship and access to Google’s people, network and technologies, to a group of 8-10 Indian startups.
iv. Upto $100K of Google Cloud Credits will also be offered. Roy Glasberg is the founder of global Launchpad.
v. Launchpad Accelerator India has been built Google’s “Solve for India” roadshow from 2017.
vi. 10 Indian startups were shortlisted from all over India. They were given 4 days of one-on-one consultations with experts from Google and mentors from the industry to solve critical product and growth challenges.
vii. Applications for the first class will be available till 31st July 2018. The first class starts in September 2018.
viii.Eligibility for the startups to enroll for Launchpad Accelerator India mentoring program:
- Be a technology startup
- Be based in India
- Have at least raised seed funding
- Build a solution that addresses a real challenge of India
- Uses advanced technology like AI/ML to power the solution
ix.As a part of the Launchpad Accelerator India, the shortlisted startups will undergo extensive mentorship and support from Google in AI/ML, Cloud, UX, Android, Web, Product Strategy and Marketing.
♦ CEO – Sundar Pichai
♦ Headquarters – California, U.S.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Dr Ravi Mehrotra receives lifetime achievement award at Seatrade 30th Anniversary Awards Event
On 29th June 2018, Dr Ravi Mehrotra CBE, Chairman of Foresight Group International Ltd., received a lifetime achievement award at the Seatrade 30th Anniversary Award Ceremony held at the Landmark, London.
Dr Ravi Mehrotra – lifetime achievement award:
i. Dr Ravi Mehrotra CBE, was presented the lifetime achievement award by Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade.
ii. This award honours recipients who have made a remarkable contribution to shipping and maritime industry.
iii. This award has been given shortly after Vivekanand 2 (a drilling rig from Foresight Offshore Drilling formerly Hallworthy Shipping Limited S.A.) was announced as “THE BEST PERFORMING RIG OF 2017/18” for ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited).
iv. Also, Dr Ravi Mehrotra recently announced that he is involved in a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative with the Indian Government for cleaning the river Ganges and landscaping of its banks on a stretch passing through Kanpur.
About ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited):
♦ Chairman & Managing Director – Shashi Shanker
♦ Registered Office – New Delhi
India’s Satyarup Siddhanta scales world’s highest volcano, Mt Ojos del Salado
Satyarup Siddhanta has become the second Indian mountaineer after Malli Mastan Babu to climb Mt Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in the world.
Satyarup Siddhanta scales Mt Ojos del Salado:
i. Ojos del Salado is a stratovolcano that means a volcano built of alternate layers of lava and ash.
ii. It is located in the Andes on the Argentina-Chile border. It is the highest active volcano in the world at 6,893 metres (22,615 ft).
iii. Satyarup Siddhanta is also set to be the first Indian to climb Mt Sidley which is the highest volcano of Antarctica. It will help him to achieve the mark of scaling seven summits and seven volcanic summits.
iv. He skied the last degree to South Pole and hoisted the Indian flag at -40 degree centigrade. He made his first attempt to scale the Mt Everest in 2015. He scaled it in 2016.
Some important bird sanctuaries in India:
♦ Gaga Wildlife Sanctuary – Gujarat
♦ Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary – Gujarat
♦ Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary – Gujarat
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Dhanlaxmi Bank appointed T. Latha as MD and CEO.
On July 10, 2018, Dhanlaxmi Bank Limited has appointed T Latha as the Managing Director & CEO.
i. She will replace G Sreeram, who has retired from the office on July 1, 2018, on completion of his tenure.
ii. Her appointment will be for a period of three years w.e.f July 2, 2018.
iii. Earlier she was a General Manager in Punjab National Bank, she was in charge of credit operations dealing with large corporate credits and has handled Finance, Credit, Strategic Business Development, People Management, NPA Resolution and Audit.
iv. Latha has 35 years of banking experience with Punjab National Bank on fields like Branch Management, Regional Management and National Level Credit Management handling a portfolio of around Rs 400 billion.
Punjab National Bank:
Tagline: The name you can bank upon.
Tagline: Tann. Mann. Dhann.
Lupin appoints Yashwant Mahadik as Global HR President
On 10th July 2018, drug firm Lupin said that, it has appointed Yashwant Mahadik as President, Global Human Resources.
Yashwant Mahadik – President, Global Human Resources of Lupin:
i. Yashwant Mahadik will be based in Mumbai. He will report to Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta and its Managing Director Nilesh Gupta.
ii. Yashwant Mahadik is a HR professional with nearly 30 years of experience in various sectors like consumer and healthcare in global organisations.
iii. Previously, he was Global Chief Human Resources Officer in Sun Pharmaceuticals. Earlier, he held HR roles in companies like Philips, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Colgate Palmolive.
Some important dams in India:
♦ Doyang Hep Dam – Doyang River
♦ Rihand Dam – Rihand River
♦ Indira Sagar (NHDC) Dam – Narmada River
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Vodafone-Idea merger gets govt’s conditional approval
On July 10, 2018, The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has conditionally approved the merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular, the largest M&A deal in the sector, which will displace Bharti Airtel from the No. 1 spot after over 15 years.
i. The Merged entity will have a user base of 430 million.
i. The conditions for approval include payment of Rs 7,268 crore which is split between a bank guarantee of Rs 3,342 crore to cover what Ideaowes on account of one-time spectrum charges and cash of Rs 3,926 crore by Vodafone towards the market price for non-auctioned airwaves.
ii. Upon the completion of the payment the department will transfer of Vodafone India’s licences and Vodafone Mobile Services Ltd.’s licences to Idea Cellular.
iii. Among other conditions, Idea needs to replace Vodafone’s bank guarantees worth Rs 6,452 crore held by DoT with its own. This is on account of spectrum payments that fall due over the next one year.
iv. Together, Vodafone Idea will have 37.5% revenue market share and 39% customer market share, making them a stronger entity.
After the merger:
i. Vodafone and the Aditya Birla Group need to collectively inject at least Rs 15,000 crore of fresh capital into the combined entity to boost the merged entity’s 4G network capacity and bring it on comparable levels with Jio and Airtel.
ii. Idea has already raised over Rs 10,000 crore from the sale of its captive towers, promoter equity infusion and private placement of share.
iii. Vodafone will infuse over Rs 7,000 crore.
iv. Idea recently got approval to raise another Rs 15,000 crore via non-convertible debentures.
v. Vodafone Idea will need to reduce revenue market share in Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat to less than 50% within a year of the final approval.
vi. Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the $44.3-billion Aditya Birla Group, will be the non-executive chairman.
♦ Headquarters: London, UK.
♦ CEO: Vittorio Colao.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ CEO: Himanshu Kapania.
World’s oldest colours discovered by scientists from The Australian National University in Sahara desert in Africa
On July 10, 2018, Scientists have discovered the oldest colors in the geological record, 1.1-billion-year-old bright pink pigments extracted from rocks deep beneath the Sahara desert in Africa.
i. This was done by the team from The Australian National University (ANU).
The fossils range from blood red to deep purple in their concentrated form, and bright pink when diluted.
ii. The bright pink pigments are the molecular fossils of chlorophyll that were produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms inhabiting an ancient ocean that has long since vanished.
iii. The researchers crushed the billion-year-old rocks to powder before extracting and analysing molecules of ancient organisms from them.
iv. The research has published in the journal- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Asian Games 2018: Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh to lead Indian hockey team
On July 10, 2018, Hockey India announced that Goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh will lead the 18-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team at the 18th Asian Games, slated to be held in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18,2018.
i. Midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam has been named the Vice Captain.
ii.Other midfielders : Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad .
iii. India’s forward line will see Akashdeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Dilpreet Singh.
iv. The teams defence line will have : Rupinder Pal Singh , Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas , Surender Kumar and Birendra Lakra.
v. Ramandeep Singh will be out of the game due to knee surgery.
In 2014, India clinched the title against Pakistan in Incheon, Korea.
Asian Games :
♦ The Asian Games, also known as Asiad, is a continental multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia.
♦ Regulator: Asian Games Federation (AGF).
♦ 2022: Hangzhou, China.
♦ 2026: Nagoya, Japan.
India’s Jhilli Dalabehera bags bronze in 2018 IWF Junior World Weightlifting Championships at Tashkent
On 7th July 2018, Indian lifter Jhilli Dalabehera has bagged the bronze medal in the 2018 IWF Junior World Weightlifting Championships at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Jhilli Dalabehera bags bronze:
i. Jhilli Dalabehera lifted 167 kg in the 48 kg category and won the bronze medal.
ii. Jhilli Dalabehera has become the second woman lifter after Saikhom Mirabai Chanu in 2013 to win a medal in the Junior World Championships.
About Indian Weightlifting Federation:
♦ Secretary General – Sahdev Yadav
♦ Location – New Delhi
Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram finishes runner-up at White Nights International Challenge
Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram finished runners-up at the White Nights International Challenge in Gatchina, Russia.
Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram finishes runner-up at White Nights International Challenge:
i. Ajay Jayaram lost to Pablo Abian of Spain in the finals and finished runner-up.
ii. Men’s doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Saurabh Sharma lost 21-18, 13-21, 17-21 to German pair of Bjarne Geiss and Jan Colin Völker in the semi-finals.
Some important sea ports in India:
♦ Kandla Port- Gujarat
♦ Marmagao port- Goa
♦ Panambur Port- Karnataka
Anju Khosla – Oldest Indian woman to complete Ironman Triathlon
Anju Khosla has become the oldest Indian woman to complete an Ironman Triathlon which is one of the toughest one-day sporting events.
Anju Khosla – Oldest Indian woman to complete Ironman Triathlon:
i. Anju Khosla is 52 years old. She is a resident of New Delhi. She completed her first full Ironman Triathlon, in Carinthia, Austria, in 15 hours, 54 minutes and 54 seconds.
ii. It consists of 3.86 km swimming leg, 180.25 km bike leg followed by a marathon (42.2 km), to be completed without a break.
iii. In Austria, out of the 2,761 competitors, Anju Khosla crossed the finish line 38th out of 41 in her age category (W50). In the women category, she was 319th out of 336 athletes and overall 2,257th.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Dal Lake – Jammu and Kashmir
♦ Manasbal Lake – Jammu and Kashmir
♦ Mansar Lake – Jammu and Kashmir
J N Sadhu, the Veteran journalist has passed away
On 7th July 2018, journalist J N Sadhu died following a long term illness in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
Death of J N Sadhu:
i. J N Sadhu was 94 years old. He worked with The Indian Express for around 35 years.
ii. He was working as a free lance journalist after his retirement.
Some important temples in India:
♦ Kamakhya Temple – Guwahati, Assam
♦ Bhimashankar Temple – Pune, Maharashtra.
♦ Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“Winning Like Sourav: Think & Succeed Like Ganguly” by Abhirup Bhattacharya
The book “Winning Like Sourav: Think & Succeed Like Ganguly” has been written by Abhirup Bhattacharya.
Winning Like Sourav: Think & Succeed Like Ganguly:
i. This book speaks about Sourav Ganguly’s trust on talented youngsters that gained India one of its greatest cricketers of all times – Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
ii.Sourav Ganguly is also credited for encouraging players like Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and building the concepts of ‘Team India’ and ‘Men in Blue’.
iii. Sourav Ganguly turned 46 years on 8th July 2018. Abhirup Bhattacharya has previously authored “Winning Like Virat: Think and Success Like Kohli”.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Dhyan Chand National Stadium – Delhi
♦ Ambedkar Stadium – Delhi
♦ Chhatrasal Stadium – Delhi