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Current Affairs Today – July 12 2015

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Indian Affairs 

Nabard aims Rs. 30,000 cr farm credit for irrigation

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has set a target of providing Rs. 30,000 crore as credit to farmers for irrigation over the next three years.
  • So far NABARD has already sanctioned Rs. 1,000 crore and intends to provide Rs 10,000 crore of loans in this year.
  • These funds will be additional to the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) by the Government of India which will provide loans up to Rs 50,000 crore to the farmers.

India’s longest road tunnel to open for traffic next year

  • India’s longest road tunnel, being built on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, will be opened for general traffic in July next year and would reduce the distance between the two cities by 30 kms.
  • The 9.2 km tunnel is part of 286 km-long four-laning project of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
  • Once this tunnel becomes operational it will reduce the traffic jams on National Highway-1A that occur due to snowfall and avalanche in winter at Patnitop.

FSSAI sets 12,000 standards for food additives, ingredients

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has finalised 12,000 standards for food additives and ingredients in line with global safety standards Codex.
  • If food companies comply with these standards then they would not require to seek product approval from FSSAI. This will save them from lengthy process of approval.
  • Presently, there are 375 FSSAI safety standards for food items but none for food additives and ingredients.
  • The new FSSAI standards are compatible with the global food standards of Codex Alimentarius Commission.

International Affairs 

Euro zone summit aims to keep Greece in single currency

  • European Council President Donald Tusk has cancelled a planned summit of all 28 European Union leaders.
  • Euro zone leaders will try their best to keep the nearly bankrupt Greece in the euro zone.
  • Many countries supported a German government paper that recommended Greece take a five-year “time-out” from the euro zone unless it accepted and implemented swiftly much tougher conditions, notably by locking state assets to be privatised in an independent trust to pay down debt.

US confirms Tunisia’s Major Non-NATO ally status

  • United States has approved Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status of Tunisia.
  • This step will pave way for enhanced military cooperation between the two countries.
  • Tunisia is the 16th country to become a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States.

About Major Non-NATO ally

Major non-NATO ally (MNNA) is a designation given by the US government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with U.S. Armed Forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Members: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia

ISRO’s commercial arm ‘Antrix’ website hacked

  • The website of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) commercial arm Antrix was hacked on Sunday.
  • The PRO of ISRO said there was some problem with the homepage of the Antrix website.
  • Antrix Corporation Limited is the marketing arm of ISRO for promotion and commercialization of space products, technical consultancy services and transfer of technologies developed by ISRO.

Banking & Finance 

Indirect tax collections pace up, grows 37.5%

  • Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramaniam revealed that Indirect tax collections have grown up by 37.5% during the first quarter of current fiscal year, i.e. April-June 2015 as compared to the last corresponding period (April-June 2014).
  • These increases are across all three tax categories—customs, central excise, and service tax.
  • He said “Given that GDP growth is the tax base, what it suggests is that the underlying nominal GDP growth is growing at a healthy pace”.
  • Also Indirect tax collections increased by 10.8 percent in June 2015 over June 2014. These increased collections indicate that the economy is improving across all sectors, including manufacturing, reflected in healthy excise tax collections.

Business 

BigBazaar ties up with MobiKwik for mobile wallet service

  • BigBazaar has tied up with MobiKwik to allow its customers to pay for purchases using mobile wallet facility.
  • MobiKwik wallet users can pay through their mobile at any BigBazaar payment counter by sharing their registered MobiKwik mobile number and an one-time-password (OTP) for verification of the transaction.
  • This facility will be extended to other Future Group entities like Central, Brand Factory, Home Town and e-Zone in the coming quarter.
  • MobiKwik which is a mobile payments platform, claims to have over 17 million mobile wallet users and 50,000 merchants on board.

Sports 

Paes wins 16th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon

  • Indian tennis star Leander Paes along with his Swiss partner Martina Hingis has won the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles on 12 July 2015 at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London.
  • The pair defeated Alexander Peya and Timea Babos (Austrian-Hungarian team) by 6-1 6-1.
  • It was Paes’ eighth mixed doubles title and second with Hingis.
  • After his remarkable win, Paes dedicated his trophy to India.

Djokovic beats Federer to win third Wimbledon title

  • Novak Djokovic from Serbia defeated Roger Federer from Switzerland for the second successive year on 12 July 2015 at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London.
  • Djokovic defeated Roger Federer by 7-6 6-7 6-4 6-3.
  • With this win he captured his third Wimbledon title and ninth Grand Slam of his career and also equaled the number of Wimbledon titles won by his current coach Boris Becker.