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Current Affairs Today – July 12 2017

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Current Affairs July 12 2017


Recent Approvals by Central government – July 12 2017
Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine and cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E)
i. Cabinet approves Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany on cooperation in the field of Health
ii. The Joint Interpretative Notes (JIN) on the Agreement between India and Bangladesh would impart clarity to the interpretation of the existing Agreement between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (BIPA).
iii. Cabinet approves enhancement of the age of superannuation of Medical Officers of Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles
iv. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Bangladesh for cyber security cooperation
v. Cabinet approves creation of three posts of Directors for the three new AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra
vi. Cabinet approves establishment of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) at campus of National Seed Research and Training Center (NSRTC) in Varanasi

Over Rs 57,000 crore saved through DBT: Government
The government has saved over Rs 57,000 crore with its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. By which subsidies are given directly to beneficiaries.
Key Notes:
i. The DBT programme is an initiative to check graft in welfare funds and was launched by the UPA government on 1st January 2013.
ii. According to government data, of the Rs 57,029 crore saved under DBT in 2016-17, Over Rs 57,000 crore saved through DBT: Governmentthe LPG subsidy scheme ‘Pahal’ accounted for Rs 29,769 crore.
iii. Under the Public Distribution System about Rs 14,000 crore were saved in providing subsidies directly to beneficiaries.
iv. A total of 485 schemes have been identified from 60 ministries for the DBT. 
v. It was aimed at transferring benefits of various central government-run social welfare schemes to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
vi. DBT led to a saving of about Rs 36,144 crore in 2015- 16.
vii. According to the data till March, 2017, there were 140 schemes under the DBT net.
viii. A total of 59 and 34 schemes were under the DBT at the end of 2015-16 and 2014-15 fiscals respectively.
ix. The beneficiary base rose from 10.71 crore in 2013-14 to 35.62 crore in 2017-18.
About DBT
♦ DBT functions under the Cabinet Secretariat.
Its implementation being directly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma launches LIFE prgm at Songsak
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has launched the ambitious flagship programme titled “Livelihood Intervention and Facilitation of Entrepreneurship” (LIFE) at Songsak in East Garo Hills on 12th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The project has been launched to the people of the state.
ii. In 2017-18, the programme aims to reach out to additional 2144 villages
iii. On the launch of the programme, Sangma said that the programme of the state government is most inclusive unlike the central schemes, which are mostly meant for the “below poverty line”.
iv .He urged the people to form SHGs in their area and under LIFE different activities would be started to ensure that people are able to generate income and eradicate poverty.
v. To bridge the economic disparity and ensure progress, LIFE will be implemented across the state, so that there is inclusive development.
vi. LIFE will focus on capacity building, Under the programme every 10 SHGs will be motivated to act like a bank and help each other.
vii. The governemnt has predicted to build a strong SHG network in Meghalaya to push development activities at the grassroot level.
viii. LIFE aims to bring all the poor and vulnerable women into the SHGs movement.
ix. The programme will be implemented in the line with National Rural Livelihoods Mission.
x. NRLM also promotes livelihood through women SHGs and their Federations.
xi. The NRLM is being currently implemented in 21 blocks of Meghalaya.
xii. The programme focuses on improving the livelihood of rural poor in a sustainable manner through the process of SHGs, Village organisation and Producers Groups.
xiii. A total of 1472 in different blocks of the state have benefited from the scheme.
About Meghalaya
♦ Capital: Shillong
♦ Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
♦ CM: Mukul Sangm

Railways launch RailCloud to optimise server management, resources
The Indian Railways launch RailCloud on 12th July 2017 , a virtual server with an inbuilt security system for faster connectivity at a reduced cost.
i. It has been developed by rail PSU RailTel at an estimated cost of about Rs 53 crore.The Indian Railways launch RailCloud on 12th July 2017
ii. This technology will be helpful to increase the usage of available server and storage which resulting in accommodation of bigger data and more applications using the available server space.
iii. RailCloud enable to cover all management related services like human resources, health and hospital, signal assets, freight and logistics and energy among others
iv. Cloud computing is a promising technology for faster and on demand commensurate deployment of server resources results in reduced cost.
Other initiatives :
1.NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’First IT application on RailCloud
‘NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’ is the first IT application to be launched on the RailCloud. It is the platform for resolution of service related grievances of serving and former railway employees.
2.Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE)
Railway provides Comprehensive Health Care Facilities to its beneficiaries through in-house health Institutions, supplementing with referrals to recognized hospitals whenever necessary.

Rajasthan become the first State to fix Minimum qualifications for coop. societies’ polls
Rajasthan is the first state of our country has set minimum educational qualification to candidates for elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies.
♦ The Rajasthan Government modified the State Cooperative State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003 and the new rules expected the benefit around 10,000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. The notification was released on July 10, 2017
Qualification needed to become a member of contesting election
i. The minimum educational qualification from class 5 to class 8 is must for members of dairy societies, farming societies, consumer societies, weavers’ societies, urban banks, housing construction societies, primary land development banks, credit societies and cooperative unions.
ii. The minimum educational qualification of primary committee members is of class 8.
iii. The minimum qualification required is class 10 for district level members
iv. A member of State level committee must be a graduate.


41st annual UNESCO World Heritage Committee conference held in Poland
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee met for its 41st session in Krakow, Poland, from 2nd to 12th July 2017
i. During this session 21 new sites have been inscribed to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Among these were 18 cultural and three natural sites. In addition to the new inscriptions, the Committee also approved five site boundary changes.
ii. The 5.5 km walled city area in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with an approximate population of four lakh has been declared India’s first World Heritage City by UNESCO.

NATO military drills in Eastern Europe begin in Bulgaria
NATO military exercises in Eastern Europe have begun in Bulgaria. It involves 25,000 military personnel from more than 20 allied and partner countries.
Key Notes:
i .The drills aim to increase the interoperability of participating countries and display resolve and readiness to act in support of security and stability in the Black Sea region.
ii. The opening ceremony was held 12th July at the Novo Selo military camp in southern Bulgaria.
iii. The Saber Guardian 17 exercises are being led by U.S. Army Europe and run until 20th July.
iv. The training will also take place in Hungary and Romania, including at the country’s The Saber Guardian 17 exercisesMihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near the Black Sea.
v. There will be a total of 18 specialized exercises.
About Bulgaria
♦ Capital: Sofia
♦ Currency:Lev
♦ President: Rumen Radev
♦ PM: Boyko Borisov



SBI waives charge on IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000
SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000 through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions.
Key Points:
i. IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as well as Internet banking.
ii. State Bank of India charge Rs 5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000.
iii. For IMPS, the charge will be Rs 5 along with GST for fund transfer in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
iv. The charge will go up to Rs 15 for transactions of Rs 1-2 lakh.
v. GST at the rate of 18% is applicable on all financial transactions.
About SBI
State Bank of India (SBI) is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company.
♦ It is a government-owned corporation with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
CEO: Arundhati Bhattarcharya

YES BANK Launches ‘YES GST’ Program to Assist MSMEs
YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private sector bank, along with YES Global Institute has launched ‘YES GST’ program for MSMEs(Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) under its MSME CSR initiative, ‘Say YES to Sustainable MSMEs in India’.
i. YES BANK is organizing more than 3,000 events on GST over the next 6 months in partnership with National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) and Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), among others.Goods and Services Tax (GST) rolled out from July 1
ii. The bank will help MSMEs to understand the impact of the changes in tax system and prepare them to know the new GST tax system.
iii. The Bank has also created a portal http://www.Yesbank.In/yes-gst which will be easy-to-understand knowledge material of all GST related information.
iv. YES BANK has set up a missed call no. (8080945075) for MSMEs to address their queries on GST
v. YES BANK has launched GST-Ready products for MSMEs.
v. A GST-ready Business Credit Card is also available
YES BANK, presence across all 29 states and 7 Union Territories of India, headquartered in the Lower Parel Innovation District (LPID) of Mumbai.
♦ Rana Kapoor  – Managing Director and CEO, YES BANK
♦ Founded In – 2004

Chhattisgarh govt to merge DCCBs with state cooperative bank
The Chhattisgarh government has planned to merge all district cooperative central banks (DCCBs) of the state into a single State Cooperative Bank.
Key Notes:
i. It aimed to serve the farmers with better and efficient banking facilities.
ii. The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh at Mantralaya on 12 July 2017 and gave approval in this regard.
iii. After the decision, all DCCBs will be amalgamated into one state cooperative bank. It will  enact a strong financial infrastructure and emerge as a effective bank.
iv. All the 264 branches of the DCCBs will continue to function in the state as same as earlier but from now on will give its services as a scheduled cooperative bank.
v. The decision will be benefit the farmers and the interest rates will come down by another 1.5 to 2% on loans to farmers.
vi. This will directly affect the state government’s interest subsidy, where it will be saving Rs 40-50 crore annually.
vii. Now, the farmers will get modernised bank facilities at the village level along with ATM and Micro ATM services.
viii. It can carry out transaction from any branch in any part of the state and soon mobile banking and Internet banking facilities will be added.
Chhattisgarh GK facts :
♦ National Park:
Indravati NP, Kanger Ghati NP
♦ Thermal Power Plant: Sipat Super Thermal Power Plant, Korba Super Thermal Power Station


HAL signs MoU with Defence Ministry
HAL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ministry of Defence for the financial year 2017-18.
Key Points:
i. The annual MoU was signed between Ashok Kumar Gupta, Secretary, Department of Defence Production and T Suvarna Raju, CMD-HAL.
ii. The revenue from operations has been targeted at Rs 17,900 crore, the highest HAL signs MoU with Defence Ministryever.
iii. HAL has also focuses on specific emphasis on capacity building, modernization, solar power plants.
iv. It aims to achieve capital expenditure of Rs 1,300 crore.
v. The Company also aims to achieve 5% increase in indigenous content through indigenisation under Make-in-India initiatives.
vi. HAL’s motive is on Make-in-India projects such as Hindustan Turboprop Trainer-40 (HTT-40), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).


Nissan appoints Thomas Kuehl as president of Indian operations
Japanese auto major Nissan has appointed Thomas Kuehl as president of its Indian operations on 12th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Kuehl will take charge of his new assignment from October one, 2017 and will be responsible for both Nissan and Datsun brands.
ii. He will replace Guillaume Sicard, who stepped down recently to take up a new post with Alliance partner Renault as Vice President.
iii. He will head all operations in India, including marketing and sales, manufacturing, and research and development. 
iv. He will be based in the headquarters of Nissan India Motors at Gurugram and report directly to Kargar.
v. Kuehl, who joins Nissan from Volkswagen, has more than 22 years of automotive experience in different countries and different areas of value chain.

BCCI appoints Ravi Shastri as new head coach of Indian cricket team, Zaheer Khan bowling coach
Ravi Shastri was appointed as new head coach of Indian cricket team on 12 July 2017. Former India pacer Zaheer Khan will be the bowling coach while Rahul Dravid, who is also the India A and U-19 coach, will be batting consultant on overseas Test tours.
Key Points:
i. Shastri is widely known as an individual who is intelligent and always a step ahead of the others.
ii. He had represented India in 80 Tests and 150 ODIs and performed well as an all-rounder.BCCI appoints Ravi Shastri as new head coach of Indian cricket team
iii. He had his first term with team India (team manager) in 2007.
iv. He is widely known as an individual who is intelligent and always a step ahead of the others.
v. He is Known as the man who has serve many positions in the world of cricket- as a commentator, or an administrator or a manager or even a coach.
vi. Ever since Later that year, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed him the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.


NASA’s Juno mission has completed a close flyby of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot
According to NASA’s Juno mission has completed a close flyby of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot on 12th of July 2017.  This flyby came as part of Juno’s sixth science orbit around the planet the next close flyby will occur 1st Sept.
Key Points:
i. NASA’s Juno mission approached closest to Jupiter’s center on July 10 at 9:55 p.m. EDT (0155 on July 11 GMT), at which point the probe was just 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) above the planet’s visible cloud tops.
ii. As per the NASA’s data and photos are now streaming back to Earth. Raw images of the gigantic storm, 1.3 times as wide as Earth, should be posted in the next few days.
iii. After 11 minutes and 33 seconds, Juno passed directly above the Great Red Spot at a height of 5,600 miles (9,000 km).
iv. Juno launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.
v. During a series of long orbits, the spacecraft is diving down to investigate the gas giant planet over 12 flybys.

Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates IMD’s Doppler Weather Radar
Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has inaugurated Doppler Weather Radar on 12th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Doppler Weather Radar is built by Indian Meteorological Department at Kochi.
ii. Fifty more such radars will be installed in the country in near future.
iii. To solve the severe drinking water shortage in the country, Desalination Mission will be Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates IMD's Doppler Weather Radarlaunched in the country with the support of NITI Ayog.
iv. The facility is built as part of the modernization of observational network by replacing conventional net work using indigenous technology.
v. With the commissioning of new station 60% of the country is covered with Doppler Weather Radar in the network of Indian Meteorological Department.

Astronomers discover smallest star known in our galaxy
Astronomers from Cambridge University have discovered a smallest star in our galaxy.
Key Notes:
i. The star known as EBLM J0555-57Ab is almost 600 light-years away from Earth.
ii. It can be easily seen from the Southern Hemisphere if viewed from telescope.
iii. The astronomers believe that this new star could possibly help them search for alien life.
iv. The new star is just a bit larger than Saturn and has a gravitational pull approximately 300 times stronger than that on Earth.
v. Being 2000 to 3000 times fainter than Sun, EBLM J0555-57Ab contains a mass similar to that of Trappist-1.
vi. Another small star discovered by NASA and surrounded by seven planets is almost two thirds the size of Trappist-1.
vii. The smallest stars provide optimal conditions for the discovery of Earth-like planets, and for the remote exploration of their atmospheres.


Forensic expert Prof P Chandra Sekharan passes away
Renowned forensic expert and Padma Bhushan awardee Prof Dr P Chandra Sekharan died on 12th of July 2017.adma Bhushan awardee Prof Dr P Chandra Sekharan
Key Points:
i. Sekharan served for over three decades as director of the Department of Forensic Sciences, Government of Tamil Nadu.
ii. He played a key role in numerous sensational cases including the assassination case of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.
iii. He has written many books including “The first human bomb,” based on the Rajiv Gandhi case and other scientific publications.


Amit Shah, Mohan Bhagwat releases coffee table book on PM Narendra Modi’s life
BJP President Amit Shah and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has released a coffee table book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s life in New Delhi.
Key Notes:
i. The book – Making of A Legend, has been compiled by Sulabh International Founder Bindeshwar Pathak.
ii. Shah had spoken about welfare targets the government has set, many with 2024 deadline. The next Lok Sabha elections are due in 2019.
iii. The BJP President hailed the steps taken by Mr Modi in Gujarat for resolving water problem.
iv. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has credited Narendra Modi’s ‘aprasiddh’ with the Hindutva organisation for his “bright” journey as Gujarat Chief Minister and then the prime minister.
v. RSS chief has said as a ‘karyakarta’ and ‘swayamsevak’ (volnteer) Modi remains the same person he was before becoming the Gujarat chief minister, and publicity and fame have not impacted him.
vi. If Modi had continued working within the RSS, few outside the organisation would have known him, he said at the release of a book Making of a Legend on the prime minister.


Malala Day – July 12 2017
Malala Day is celebrated on July 12 in honour of Nobel Peace Prize and UN activist Malala Yousafzai.
i. On July 12, 2013, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl engaged in the promotion of women’s education, delivered an impassioned speech at the United Nations (UN) headquarters regarding the importance and need of gender equality in education.
ii. The young girl had recognized by standing ovations at the United Nations (UN) headquarters the day, July 12, which is also her birthday, was declared as Malala Day by UN.
iii. In October 2012, Malala was attacked by Taliban gunmen .she was sent to the United Asteroid Malala YousafzaiKingdom to recover.
iv. In 2012, the Pakistan government awarded her the first National Youth Peace Prize. In 2014, at the age of 17, Malala became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.
v. She has been awarded an honorary Canadian citizenship and was the youngest person to address the House of Commons in Canada.

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