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10 Member Committee to review Companies Act 2013 constituted by Ministry of Corporate affairs
On July 15, 2018, The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) constituted a 10 Member Committee, headed by the Secretary of Ministry of Corporate Affairs to review Companies Act 2013.
To review penal provisions of the act and to examine ‘de-criminalisation’ of certain offences.
Key Points:
i. The committee is headed by the Secretary and will have 8 members and 1 member secretary.
ii. They would examine the nature of all ‘acts’ having fine and or imprisonment and whether they can be considered ‘civil wrongs’.
iii. They would decide if the non-compoundable act under the Companies Act 2013 can be made compoundable.
iv. This decriminalization would help the trial courts to focus on serious offences.
v. They would also take necessary steps in formulation of draft changes in the law.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs:
♦ Union Minister : Arun Jaitley
♦ Minister Of state: P. P. Choudhury.

World Customs Organization (WCO) selected India as the Vice Chair to head its Asia Pacific Region for 2 years
On July 15, 2018, The Finance Ministry released India will head the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) for two years as it s Vice Chair from July, 2018 to June, 2020.
World Customs Organization (WCO) selected India as the Vice Chair to head its Asia Pacific Region for 2 yearsi. This will enable India to take on leadership role.
ii. An event will be organized by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) due to this announcement.
About the event :
i. This will be attended by the Customs delegations of 33 countries of the Asia-Pacific Region, Customs officers from different Ports in India and Partner Government Agencies.
ii. The Secretary General of WCO, Mr Kuniyo Mikuriya will deliver the Key Note Address on this event.
iii. The underlying Theme of the Inaugural Ceremony is “Customs – Fostering Trade Facilitation”.
iv. A Seminar on Cross Border Trade through e-commerce and the role of Customs administration will take place.
v. This will focus on framework of standards of WCO due to the growth of ecommerce industry.
About WCO:
It is an international body consisting of 182 administrations of various countries and accounts for 98% of processed collection of world trade.

2nd National Tourism Conclave organised in Rajasthan by Elets
On July 13, 2018, The tourism department of Rajasthan announced that The 2nd National Tourism Conclave was organised in Jaipur.

2nd National Tourism Conclave organised in Rajasthan by Eletsi. This is the second National Tourism Conclave organised by Elets. The first such Conclave was organised in Chandigarh in 2017.
ii. In this conclave many foreign ambassadors were present. They include: J Goburdhun, High Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius to India, Dato’ Hidayat Abdul Hamid, High Commissioner of Malaysia, and Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev, Ambassador of Russia.
iii. To boost the tourism sector in the state, the tourism budget is being enhanced and intra-air connectivity is being improved.
♦ Capital: Jaipur.
♦ Chief minister: Vasundhara Raje.
♦ Governor: Kalyan Singh
♦ National Parks : Ranthambore National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Sariska National Park, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
♦ UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jantar Mantar, Keoladeo National Park, Chittorgarh Fort, Amer Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Gagron Fort, Kumbhalgarh.

JaipurRajasthanPink City
Paris of India
City of Palaces
JaisalmerRajasthanGolden City of India

World’s first and cheapest clean drinking water project launched in Darbhanga , Bihar
On July 15, 2018, The first of world’s cheapest drinking water project was launched in Darbhanga district, Bihar.

World's first and cheapest clean drinking water project launched in Darbhanga , Bihari. This was launched by Sulabh International, an organisation that introduced the concept of ‘Sulabh Sauchalya’ in the country.
ii. The foundation of the project at Haribol pond in Darbhanga Nagar Nigam premises was laid by Sulabh International’s founder Dr.Bindeshwar Pathak.
iii. It would be managed by Self Help group of Darbhanga Nagar Nigam.
About the Project:
i. The ‘Sulabh Jal’ project converts contaminated pond and river water into safe drinking water.
ii. The water purification process has a capacity to purify 8,000 litres of water per day at nominal cost.
iii. The cost of the project is around Rs 20 lakhs.
iv. With this people will get pure and clean water only in 50paisa/litre.
The Groundwater in many districts of northern parts of Bihar bordering Nepal is severely affected by arsenic and other chemicals.
♦ Chief Minister: Nitish Kumar.
♦ Governor: Satya Pal Malik.
♦ UNESCO World Heritage site : Nalanda University, Bodhgaya.
♦ National Park: Valmiki Tiger Reserve

BhagalpurSilk city of India
MuzaffarpurThe Land of the Leechi
NalandaLand of Knowledge

‘I am not afraid of English’ campaign in schools by Haryana Education Department
On July 15, 2018, The Haryana Education Department launched ‘I am not afraid of English’ initiative from Class 1 in the state’s primary schools.
The initiative is aimed at capacity building of teachers to enable them to help the students to learn, read, write and speak English
Key Points:
i. A booklet containing 1,000 sentences/phrases (200 sentences per grade for all the five grades )has been prepared at the primary level of schooling.
ii. One JBT (junior basic teacher) and one BRP (Block Resource Person) per block has been trained.
iii. Students learn one sentence every day (minimum 20 per month for 10 months) in each class.
iv. Six language labs have been established in selected model Sanskriti schools in the state to improve listening and speaking skills.
v. Additionally, 238 more government schools are going to be covered under this initiative during the year 2018-19.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh.
♦ Chief Minister:  Manohar Lal Khattar.
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ National Parks: Sultanpur National Park, Kalesar National Park.

GurugramMillennium city of India.
BhiwaniMini cuba

SBI, NABARD tie up to support tenant farmers in Telangana
On July 12,2018, State Bank of India and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development have joined hands to provide collateral-free credit in Telangana.
i. The Mou was signed with seven NGOs from Nizamabad, Medak and Warangal districts, for the promotion and credit linkage of the JLGs.
ii. The tripartite agreement was signed by Swaminathan J, CGM, SBI, and P Radhakrishnan, CGM, Nabard.
iii. This was given through 2000 Joint Liability Groups in the state.
iv. Through this agreement NABARD will assist the NGOs to nurture and handholding of the JLGs to help tenant farmers, share croppers etc.
v. SBI will provide the collateral free credit support to the groups promoted by NGOs.
♦ This Agreement comes against the Ryuthu Bandhu scheme launched by the Telangana government in May under which Rs.4000 will be provided per acre to the farmers .
♦ However this scheme does not cover tenant farmers.
Telangana :
♦ Capital: Hyderabad.
♦ Chief Minister: K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
♦ Governor: E.S.L. Narasimhan.
♦ National Park: Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park, Kasu Brahmananda National Park, Mrugavani National Park, Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary.

HyderabadCity of Biriyani, City of Pearls.
NalgondaCity of Rocks.


India and Pakistan to be part of an anti-terror drill in Russia organized by SCO from August
On July 15, 2018, Militaries of India and Pakistan will be part of a mega anti-terror drill in Russia in August which is being organized by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

India and Pakistan to be part of an anti-terror drill in Russia organized by SCO from AugustIt will be for the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will both be part of a military exercise
Aim to expand cooperation among the member countries to deal with terrorism and extremism.
Key Points:
i. The name of the drill is : “Peace Mission”.
ii. The exercise is scheduled from August 20-29 at Chelyabinsk city in west-central Russia.
iii. From India 200 Army and Air Force personnel will participate.
iv. Other SCO member countries joining the exercise are: Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. 
About SCO:

♦ India and Pakistan has joined the organization as full time members from 2017.
♦ Number of Member Countries are: 8
♦ Headquarter: Beijing, China
♦ Founded: 26th April 1996.
♦ Secretary General: Rashid Alimov.


OECD predicts India to grow over 7%, China to 6.7%
On July 15, 2018, a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and  Development (OECD), India’s economic growth will rise to 7.4% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019.
i. This growth is due to the measures like demonetization and GST.
ii. Although issues related to banks’ non-performing assets (NPAs) will require attention.
iii. China’s GDP growth is projected to moderate to 6.7% in 2018 and to 6.4% in 2019.
iv. It is way past the government’s target of 6.4%.
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France.
♦ Secretary General: Jose Angel Gurria.
♦ Founded : 30 September 1961.
♦ Members: 36.

University of Houston & Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) sign MOU for collaboration
On July 15, 2018, The University of Houston and Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) signed an MOU on mutual collaboration on various fields.

University of Houston & Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) sign MOU for collaborationObjective:
Aim to build scientific and technical knowledge through joint research.
Key Points:
i. The agreement covers collaboration in the following ways:

  • In areas such as faculty exchanges, especially in subsea engineering, offshore and onshore petroleum engineering, process controlsystems and process safety in all chemical engineering fields and non-conventional energy areas.
  • Joint academic event and activities, including short courses, seminars, workshops and/or conferences.

ii. The two institutes may also explore research and projects involving distance and computer-based learning.
About IIPE:
♦ Established : 2016
♦ Under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
♦ Founded in: Andhra Pradesh
♦ Purpose: It offers undergraduate degrees in petroleum and chemical engineering and energy fields.


Ishwar Sharma: 8-year-old yoga champion named ‘British Indian of the Year’
Ishwar Sharma has been named the “British Indian of the Year” for his achievements in Yoga.

Ishwar Sharma: 8-year-old yoga champion named 'British Indian of the Year'Ishwar Sharma – British Indian of the Year:
i. Ishwar Sharma is 8 years old. He is an Indian-origin school kid. He is the under-11 UK national yoga champion.
ii. He has bagged various titles in individual and artistic yoga. He has won gold medal representing Great Britain at the World Student Games 2018 held in Winnipeg, Canada, in June 2018.
iii. He is studying at St Michaels Preparatory School in Kent. He was named British Indian of the Year in the Young Achiever category at the 6th annual awards ceremony held in Birmingham recently.
iv. He had also won a gold medal at the Euro Asian Yoga Championships in Turkey in May 2018.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Agara Lake – Karnataka
♦ Bellandur Lake – Karnataka
♦ Byrasandra Lake – Karnataka

Times Now-ICICI Bank Awards: Prem Watsa named ‘NRI Of the Year’
Prem Watsa, founder of Fairfax Financial Holdings, was presented the Special Jury ‘NRI of the Year Award’ at the 5th edition of Times NOW & ICICI Bank NRI of the Year Awards 2018, in Mumbai.
Times NOW & ICICI Bank NRI of the Year Awards 2018:
i. Also, Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri was awarded the ‘Global Indian Icon’ award.
ii. The NRI of the Year Awards honours global Indians who have achieved a mark for themselves worldwide.
iii. Kiren Rijiju, minister of state for home affairs, was the chief guest of the event. Times Now and ICICI Bank NRI of the Year Awards was powered by Global Indian International School (GIIS).
iv. Ernst & Young, professional services firm, is the process adviser for the awards.
About ICICI Bank:
♦ Tag line – Hum Hai Na, Khyal Apka
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai


Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki gets additional charge of Himachal Pradesh
On 13th July 2018, Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki was handed the additional charge of Himachal Pradesh by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki gets additional charge of Himachal Pradesh:
i. Kaptan Singh Solanki will perform the functions of the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, in addition to his own duties during the absence of Himachal Governor Acharya Devvrat.
ii. Acharya Devvrat is on leave. This was mentioned in an official order.
Some important National Parks in Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Great Himalayan National Park
♦ Khirganga National Park
♦ Pin Valley National Park


Mahendra Singh Dhoni becomes 4th Indian batsman to score 10,000 runs in ODIs
On 14th July 2018, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the fourth Indian to achieve the mark of 10,000 runs in ODIs, during the second match of the three-game series against England, at Lord’s cricket ground in London.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – 4th Indian batsman to score 10,000 runs in ODIs:
i. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is 37 year old. He is a former India cricket captain.
ii. He has reached the milestone of scoring 10,000 runs in ODIs after three other Indian batsmen: Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
iii. Mahendra Singh Dhoni  is now placed 12th in the list of all-time highest run-scorers in ODIs.
iv. Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is the only wicketkeeper-batsman who has found a place in the list with 14,234 runs. He is the second highest run scorer in ODIs behind Sachin Tendulkar.
v. Mahendra Singh Dhoni also became the fourth wicket-keeper to complete 300 ODI catches after Adam Gilchrist (417), Mark Boucher (403) and Kumar Sangakkara (402).
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ EMS Stadium – Kozhikode , Kerala
♦ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – Kochi, Kerala
♦ Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium – Kollam, Kerala


Kannada poet M.N. Vyasa Rao passes away
On 15th July 2018, Kannada poet and film lyricist M.N. Vyasa Rao died following a cardiac arrest at his home in Bengaluru.
Death of M.N. Vyasa Rao:
i. M.N. Vyasa Rao was 73 years old. He was a bank employee by profession.
ii. In 1975, he entered Kannada film industry as a lyricist in the film Shubhamangala.
iii. His other poems are also known as ‘bhaavageetes’ (light music). He was also a novelist.
iv. He had written various detective and literary novels and short stories in Kannada.
v. He had also received Karnataka Rajya Sahitya Academy award for his short story collection “Maleyalli Neneda Maragalu”.


World Youth Skills Day – 15 July
On 15th July 2018, World Youth Skills Day was celebrated all over the world.

World Youth Skills Day - 15 JulyWorld Youth Skills Day:
i. The United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day to create awareness on the importance of investing in youth skills development.
ii. Youngsters are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Women are more likely to be underemployed and under-paid, and to do part-time jobs or work under temporary contracts.
iii. Thus education and training are considered important determinants of success in the employment sector.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Renuka Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Rewalsar Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Seruvalsar and Manimahesh Lake – Himachal Pradesh