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Current Affairs Today July 16 2018

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to Uttar Pradesh
i. Prime Minister Shri.Narendra Modi Visit Azamgarh, Mirzapur and his parliamentary constituency Varanasi in  Eastern Uttar Pradesh for 2 days on 14th & 15th of July.
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dedicated to the nation the Varanasi City Gas Distribution (CGD) network and Piped Natural Gas(PNG)services under PM’s Urja Ganga pipeline.
iii. On July 15,2018, The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched the Bansagar Canal Project in Mirzapur ………………………………………..Click here to Read more

Haryana government launched ‘Paudhagiri’ campaign to increase green cover
On July 16, 2018, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar launched a campaign called ‘Paudhagiri’.
Haryana government launched ‘Paudhagiri' campaign to increase green coveri. About 3,100 students participated in the movement.
The aim is to increase the green cover of the state.
Key Points:
i. This scheme was initiated by the CM planting a sapling of ‘maulsari’ in the premises of Tau Devi Lal sports complex in Gurgaon.
ii. Under this scheme, 22 lakh students of government and private schools from class 6 to 12 would plant saplings for the(monsoon) months of July , August and September.
iii. He/She will have to post a selfie with the growing sapling to receive Rs.50 every 6 months.
iv. Thus  the student will get Rs 300 in the next three years for looking after a sapling.
♦ 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

Vaccination drive against measles-rubella launched by Gujarat govt with Rs.300 crore help from Centre
On July 16, 2018, The Gujarat government launched a measles-rubella vaccination drive with the help of Centre’s Rs.300 crore financial assistance.
Vaccination drive against measles-rubella launched by Gujarat govt with Rs.300 crore help from Centrei. This campaign is aimed at protecting children from measles and rubella .
ii. It would last for 5-6 weeks vaccinating 1.6 crore children between the age of nine months to 15 years.
iii. It would be carried out in all government hospitals and 106 mobile vans were dispatched to reach the remotest sections of the state.
iv. In Vadodara district alone, 4 lakh children would be vaccinated in 1,827 in schools, aganwadis and hospitals.
v. The campaign is being promoted by former Test crickter Irfan Pathan.
♦ Capital: Gandhinagar
♦ Chief Minister:  Vijay Rupani
♦ Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
♦ National Parks: Gir Forest National Park , Vansda National Park, Blackbuck National Park, Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary.


Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) project: First land-based communication link between Pakistan and China
On 13th July 2018, Pakistan Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk inaugurated the Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) project that will be the first land-based communication link between Pakistan and China.

Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) project: First land-based communication link between Pakistan and ChinaPakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) project:
i. Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) project was completed in 2 years. It will help in developing the telecom sector in Gilgit-Baltistan region.
ii. It will also help in enhancement of security of the schemes under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
iii. This project involves an 820 km-long underground OFC from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab and a 172-km aerial OFC from Karimabad to Khunjerab.
iv. This project has been launched as part of the CPEC. It comprises 26 high-capacity microwave links as backup to the OFC network and 9 node centres in various locations.
v. Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that, OFC was one of the nine projects to be finished under the CPEC. He added that, the CPEC will also have a digital corridor.
vi .Maj Gen Amir Azim Bajwa, Director general of the Special Communication Organisation, said that, a communication link had been developed with the Chinese side on the border and has been tested successfully for end-to-end connectivity.
Some important dams in India:
♦ Pakal Dul Dam – Marusudar River
♦ Sardar Sarover Gujarat Dam – Narmada River
♦ Srisailam (N.S.R.S.P) Dam – Krishna River


State Bank of India (SBI) to organise a nation-wide Kisan Mela as an outreach programme for farmers and to impart financial literacy on July 18,2018
On July 16, 2018, SBI announced that it would launch a kisan Mela outreach program for farmers on July 18,2018.
Objective :
This would help in imparting financial literacy to the farmers
Key Points:
i. This would cover 10 lakh farmers in 14000 rural and semi urban branches.
ii. This initiative will educate the farmer customers about their right and various banking initiatives.
iii. The bank will also issue Kisan Credit Card (KCC) with 10% of enhancement on their credit limit.
iv. It would also help various the farmers on knowing various agri-products of the bank like asset backed agri-loan, mudra loan and loans on other allied agri activities.
The bank has nearly 1.50 crore farmer customers
Kisan Credit Card:
It was launched in 1988 to meet comprehensive credit requirements of the agriculture sector by giving financial support to farmers
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
♦ Launch: 2016
♦ This is a crop insurance scheme.
♦ According to this scheme uniform premium of only per cent is to be paid by farmers for Kharif crops, and 1.5 per cent for Rabi crops. The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be 5 per cent.


Sagarmala initiative: Hi-tech Labs in Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Ship building (CEMS), Visakhapatnam
The Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Shipbuilding (CEMS) has said that, its hi tech labs at Visakhapatnam are in ready state to commence orientation programmes for trainees.
Hi-tech Labs in Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Ship building (CEMS), Visakhapatnam:
i. On 13th July 2018, a seminar was conducted in Vishakhapatnam to inform stakeholders about the facilities in the labs and the start of training process.
ii. Recently, CEMS had announced the readiness of its Mumbai labs also.  CEMS is promoted by Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) along with Siemens and Ministry of Shipping.
iii. The Visakhapatnam campus is located in the Indian Maritime University (IMU) campus.
iv. Mr. Kailash Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Sagarmala, Ministry of Shipping said that, the CEMS is a major initiative of Sagarmala programme to enhance skill development in ship building and ship repair.
v. It will offer industry related employable skills to students in the port and maritime sector. It will also encourage Make in India and Skill India initiatives in the maritime sector.
About Sagarmala Project:
♦ Launched – 2015
♦ Main Objective – to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively


SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh awarded USISPF Leadership Award at the first Annual Leadership Summit of USISPF in Washington DC
Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, received the USISPF Leadership Award at the first Annual Leadership Summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) in Washington DC, United States.
First Annual Leadership Summit of USISPF:
i. D. Jim Umpleby III, CEO of Caterpillar Inc., was also awarded the USISPF Leadership Award.
ii. D. Jim Umpleby III and Ajay Singh were awarded for their transformative role in developing US-India business relations and enhancing the lives of citizens in United States and India.
iii. The Annual Leadership Summit stressed on USISPF’s commitment to enhance the strategic partnership between the US and India.
iv. The theme for this year’s summit was: “Strengthening the Strategic Partnership”.
v. Various stakeholders like Indian Government officials, industry leaders from the US and India, and United States government officials participated in the summit. Nearly 300 senior business leaders and investors participated.
vi. Companies like Walmart, Dow, Boeing International, Abbot, Amway and Bank of America took part in the summit.
vii. They discussed on opportunities in investment. The value of the US-India partnership and how their shared values of democracy, security, and sustainability are applied in both business and government areas to improve job creation, encourage innovation, and accelerate economic growth were also discussed.
About US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF):
♦ Chairman – John T Chambers
♦ Purpose – to create the most powerful strategic partnership between the U.S. and India and to promote bilateral trade etc.


LIC board approves acquisition of up to 51% stake in IDBI Bank
On 16th July 2018, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said that, Life Insurance Corporation of India’s (LIC’s) board has approved acquiring up to 51 % stake in IDBI Bank.

LIC board approves acquisition of up to 51% stake in IDBI BankLIC board approves acquisition of up to 51% stake in IDBI Bank:
i. Subhash Chandra Garg is on the board of LIC. He said that, the additional stake buy would be through a preferential shares issue that will enable injection of funds to IDBI Bank.
ii. LIC will now approach SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India). IRDAI has already approved LIC for the stake purchase.
iii. Subhash Chandra Garg added that, if necessary LIC will make an open offer. LIC owned nearly 8 % of IDBI Bank as of end-June 2018. The federal government owned 86 %.
iv. As LIC acquires stake in IDBI bank, the debt-ridden IDBI bank will receive a capital support of Rs 100-130 billion. The gross non-performing assets of IDBI Bank was Rs 556 billion at the end of the March quarter.
v. Also, through this acquisition, LIC will get nearly 2,000 branches through which it can sell its products. IDBI bank will also get huge funds of LIC.
vi. IDBI bank would get accounts of nearly 22 crore policyholders and related flow of fund.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
♦ Chairman – Ajay Tyagi
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai


China to launch 300 low-orbit satellites named the Hongyan constellation to provide worldwide communication services
On 16th July 2018, China announced that, it has planned to launch 300 low-orbit satellites named the Hongyan constellation to offer worldwide communication services and the first in the series will be launched in 2018.
Hongyan constellation:
i. The Hongyan constellation has more than 300 satellites and data processing centres. It will be built in 3 stages. The first in the series will be launched in 2018.
ii. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said that, after completion, the satellite communication network will take the place of the ground-based network.
iii. It will enable a mobile phone to be connected everywhere on earth, even in a remote desert or at sea.
iv. The announcement was made at the Hunan Commercial Aviation Space and Marine Equipment Forum held in Changsha, China on 12th July 2018.
v. China is already in the process of developing BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to compete America’s Global Positioning System, (GPS).
vi. China uses BDS for its military applications to prevent dependence on GPS. The new constellation is the first group of low-orbit communication satellites designed and to be launched by China.
vii. Low-orbit satellites have stronger signals and a shorter signal delay than synchronous orbit satellites that are 36,000 km above the equator.
viii. The coverage of a single low-orbit satellite is limited. Hence more satellites are needed to cover wider areas.
About China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation:
♦ Chairman – Wu Yansheng
♦ Location – Beijing, China

India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic missile
On 16th July 2018, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired from an Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha.

India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic missileSuccessful test firing of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile:
i. This test was done under extreme weather conditions like high speed wind against the missile system and various other extreme conditions.
ii. The success of the test increased the life of the missile by 2 to 5 years.
iii. Range of the missile: up to 290km with supersonic speed.
iii. Cruising speed: up to Mach 3.0 that is 3 times the speed of sound.
iv. Brahmos is a supersonic missile. It has been produced together by India and Russia. It was named Brahmos after the rivers Brahmaputra of India and Moskva of Russia.
v. BrahMos is a joint venture of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and NPOM of Russia.
vi. BrahMos has been operationalised in the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
vii. BRAHMOS is an important force multiplier in battlefields. It has great land-attack, anti-ship capabilities with multi-role and multi-platform abilities.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
♦ Chairman – Sanjay Mitra
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

ISRO scientists successfully performed a ground test of Vikas Engine in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu
On 16th July 2018, ISRO said that, it successfully performed a ground test of its high thrust version of the Vikas Engine that will enhance the payload capability of ISRO’s launch vehicles, at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.

ISRO scientists successfully performed a ground test of Vikas Engine in Mahendragiri, Tamil NaduISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) scientists successfully test Vikas Engine:
i. The test was conducted for a duration of 195 seconds. The Vikas Engine is the workhorse liquid rocket engine used for powering the second stage of the ISRO’s PolarSatellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
ii. It is also used in the second stage and the four strap on stages of Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and in the twin engine core liquid stage (L110) of GSLV Mk-III.
iii. Propulsion parameters were satisfactory and closely matched the predictions during the test.
iv. Through the ground test the performance adequacy of the Vikas Engine has been validated for employing it in the upcoming second developmental flight of GSLV Mk-III.
v. ISRO has also planned to launch GSLV-MkIII-D2 carrying GSAT-29 in 2018. For the first time, it carries multi-beam and optical communication payloads.
v. The mission is focused on Village Resource Centres in rural areas to reduce the digital divide.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
♦ Chairman – Dr. K. Sivan
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru

IIT scientists create mini-organs that mimic hair growth
Scientists from IIT Delhi have created a silk-based hydrogel that imitates hair growth, which would help in production of drugs for hair loss treatment without the need for animal tests.
Mini-organs that mimic hair growth:
i. A study regarding this has been published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.
ii. The study explains how the three-dimensional mini organs can mimic various stages of hair growth in human beings.
iii. Researchers from the ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre in Bangalore were also involved in this work.
iv. Alopecia is a condition that results due to abnormal growth cycle or decrease in the size of hair follicles. It is an important reason for permanent hair loss.
v. So far, successful treatment for alopecia has not been achieved. An important reason for this lack of proper treatment is the unavailability of suitable human cell-based in vitro models available for drug testing.
v. The anti-alopecia drugs and cosmetics that are available at present are tested on animals. Hence the scientists worked on developing an ideal three dimension in vitro model of hair follicle using human cells.
vi. The scientists created the hydrogel by combining a mixture of silk proteins, isolated from silkworm cocoons, and gelatin. They used Tyrosinase enzyme to create a stable hydrogel system.
vi. This system offered an ideal environment to create a complete 3D model of hair follicle regeneration.
vii. The action of a model hair regeneration drug named minoxidil has already been tested successfully in the lab based hair follicle model.


FIFA World Cup 2018
i. FIFA World Cup, an international football tournament, is contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA once every four years.
ii. FIFA 2018 was the 21st edition of the tournament
iii. Zabivaka – “the one who scores” (in Russian) is a wolf who radiates fun, charm and confidence was the Official mascot of FIFA World Cup 2018.
iv. France won the title with a 4-2 goal against Croatia This is their second world cup title since 1998
v. FIFA World Cup-2022 will be hosted by Qatar…………………………………….click here to Read more

Top Scorer  (Golden Boot)Harry Kane (6 goals)England
Best PlayerLuka Modric (Croatia)Croatia
Best Young PlayerKylian MbappeFrance
Best Goalkeeper  (Golden Glove)Thibaut CourtoisBelgium
Fair PlaySpain

Golden Glove of Vojvodina Youth Men & Women Boxing Tournament at Vojvodina, Serbia
From 9th to 16th July 2018, the 36th Golden Glove of Vojvodina Youth Men & Women Boxing Tournament, was held in Vojvodina, Serbia.
Golden Glove of Vojvodina Youth Men & Women Boxing Tournament at Vojvodina, SerbiaGolden Glove of Vojvodina Youth Men & Women Boxing Tournament:
i. This is the 36th edition for Youth Men and 7th edition for Youth Women. 17 countries took part in the tournament.
India attained 1st position by winning 17 medals:
i. India won a total of 17 medals with 7 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 4 bronze medals and obtained the first position at the 36th Golden Glove of Vojvodina youth tournament.
ii. Russia secured 11 medals with 3 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze medals but secured third position following Kazakhstan in second position which had 5 gold medals and an overall count of 7 medals.
Indian medal winners:

Akash Kumar56kgGold
S Barun Singh49kgGold
Divya Pawar54kgGold
Jyoti Gulia51kgSilver
Neha Yadav+81kgSilver
Nitin Kumar75kgSilver
Sakshi Gaidhani81kgBronze
Bhavesh Kittamani52kgBronze

About Boxing Federation of India (BFI):
♦ President – Ajay Singh
♦ Location – Gurgaon

Serena storms into top 30, jumps 153 points after Wimbeldon :WTA rankings
On July 16, 2018, According to Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), American tennis player Serena Williams ranked 28th in the list with a jump of 153 places.
i. Her previous rank was 181st .
ii. She improved her rank after the Wimbeldon Championship where she became runner up.
Other players and their ranks :

Simona Halep (Romania)1
Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)2
Sloane Stephens3
Angelique Kerber (Germany)4
Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)5

Men’s Rankings (TOP 5):

Rafael Nadal (Spain)1
Roger Federer (Switzerland)2
Alexander Zverev (Germany)3
Juan Martin de Potro (Argentina)4
Kevin Anderson (South Africa)5

♦ Headquarters: Florida.
♦ Chairman and CEO: Steve Simon.
♦ Founder: Billy Jean King.