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Current Affairs Today July 17 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Dharmendra Pradhan lays foundation stone for NSTI at Barang, in Bhubaneswar
On 16th July 2018, Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan laid the foundation stone for National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) at Barang, in Bhubaneswar, to be established at a cost of Rs 160 crore.
Dharmendra Pradhan lays foundation stone for NSTI at Barang, in BhubaneswarNational Skill Training Institute (NSTI):
i. The National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) is developed with an aim to meet the increasing demands for skilled manpower.
ii. The NSTI will be developed on an area of 5 acres. It will feature advanced facilities to present skill development courses to the trainers and assessors.
iii. Candidates will be trained with new age courses to meet the needs of the industry.
iv. NSTI will function under the Directorate General of Training (DGT). It will have training activities like Trainers Training (Long term/Short term), Refresher Training and Re-skilling/Up skilling courses.
v. Dharmendra Pradhan said that, Skill India is a demand driven programme. It trains people in job roles that are market relevant and based on current industry needs and standards.
vi. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) for beginning a temporary campus of NSTI Bhubneswar in their premises at Mancheswar Industrial Area, Bhubaneswar. This will help to start the courses at the earliest.
vii. The major highlights of this training facility will be the use of Internet of Things in Agriculture, Smart Cities and Health Care, courses in Mechatronics and Mobile Repair.
viii. The main objective is to improve the existing training infrastructure and develop new institutions in the unserved areas.
ix. This initiative will provide necessary and employable skills to youngsters.
x.  The Skill Development and Entrepreneurship ministry has involved IBM, NASSCOM and SAP to create courses on latest technologies to be taught in this institute.
xi.IBM has provided courses at advanced diploma level in IT Networking and Cloud Computing.
xii. NASSCOM is offering courses on Internet of Things. SAP will help to teach skills on Enterprise Resource Planning and Data Sciences.
xiii. An MoU was signed by Directorate of General Training and SAP. As per which, SAP will train the trainers at NSTI Bhubaneshwar on Business One enterprise software.
About SAP:
♦ CEO – Bill McDermott
♦ President and Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent – Deb Deep Senguptar

Country’s 1st Defence incubator to come up in T-Hub
On July 13, 2018, Country’s first Defence Incubator will come up in T-Hub , Hyderabad.
i. It has been proposed by the Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao.
ii. It will be coming up in the phase 2 of T-hub.
iii. It will give boost to Indian Defence and aerospace research and industry.
iv. It will be built under the Ministry’s Innovation for Defence Exellence (iDEX) scheme.
v. Under the scheme research in the fields of Aerospace & Defence by MSMEs, start-ups, research institutions, educational institutions are to be funded
vi. The iDEX will be funded and managed by a Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).
vii. Initial corpus of Rs.100 crore has been contributed by PSUs HAL and BEL with Rs.50 crore each.
T-Hub:

  • Founded: 5 November 2015.
  • Location: Hyderabad , Telangana.

It is the largest Incubation facility in the country.

Workshop on financial management in New Delhi organized by NMDFC
On July 17, 2018, The National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, NMDFC, organized a workshop on financial management in New Delhi.
Workshop on financial management in New Delhi organized by NMDFCi. The workshop had the heads of states for NMDFC.
ii. Minority affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced that awareness programmes will be run by the institution.
iii. NMDFC provides financial assistance by giving loans to minorities at affordable interest rate.
iv. It has over 6 lakh 37 thousand beneficiaries for various programmes.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s Visit to Bangaldesh
Union Home Minister Shri Raj Nath Singh visited Bangladesh on a 3 day visit from July 13-15,2018.
i. On July 14, 2018, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the largest Indian visa centre in the world in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
ii. On July 14,2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with Home Minister of Bangladesh, Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan inaugurated Bangladesh-India Friendship Building at the Bangladesh Police Academy, Sardah in Rajshahi, Western Bangladesh.
iii. On July 15,2018, The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh co-chaired the 6th meeting of the Home Minister level talks with his Bangladesh counterpart, Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan in Dhaka………………………………Click here to Read more

External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Manama
External Affairs Minister Smt.Sushma Swaraj was on a two-day visit to Bahrain from July 14 to 15,2018. 

External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj’s visit to ManamaThis was External Affairs Minister’s 3rd visit to Bahrain.
Sushma Swaraj, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa to co-chair 2nd joint commission meeting in Manama
On July 17,2018, MEA Sushma Swaraj met co-chaired  2nd India-Bahrain High Joint Commission with her counterpart Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa at Gudaibiya Palace in Manama.
i. The first meeting of the High Joint Commission (HJC) was held in New Delhi in February 2015.
ii. Issues of trade, investment and counter-terror cooperation were discussed in the joint commission.
Following MoUs were signed :
iii. Agreement on Exemption from Short Stay Visa for Holders of Diplomatic and Official/Special Passports.
iv. MoU on Renewable Energy and on Cooperation in the Field of Healthcare.
v. Agreement on integration of e-Migrate system with the work permit issuance system of Bahrain to work on strengthening coordination on consular issues was made.
vi. Establishment of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) office in Manama, at the Economic Development Board Headquarters, to promote bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
vii. Agreement on the third meeting of the Commission to be held in New Delhi was made.
MEA Sushma Swaraj inaugurates new Indian embassy complex
i. She jointly inaugurated impressive Embassy of India Complex in Manama.
ii. It was agreed that the Bahrain Embassy in New Delhi will be allocated a plot of land in the new Diplomatic enclave in Dwarka.
Meeting with Crown Prince  Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa at Gudaibiya Palace in Manama
Discussions on upgrading the partnership across sectors, especially in trade and investment, defence, renewable energy, IT, health and education were held.
MEA’s meeting with His Majesty the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. 
Discussions on cooperation in science & technology, renewable energy and other areas were held.
Other announcements:
i. She gifted a box of books called ‘Bharat ek Priychay’ to the National Library in Manama.
ii. She also inaugurated the new Chancery-cum-Residential complex.
iii. 
The two sides agreed to explore collaborative arrangements between National Space Science Agency (NSSA) of Bahrain and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in training, human resource development, use of space technologies and applications for developmental use and to benefit from the low-cost Indian experience in the operation and launch of satellites and other space areas.
iv. MoU between Isa Cultural Center of Bahrain and Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) to further expand cultural exchanges.
Bahrain:
♦ Capital:  Manama.
♦ Currency: Bahraini Dinar.
♦ Prime Minister: Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
♦ President: Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

8th session of India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting Begins in Muscat
On 16th July 2018, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, co-chaired the 8th session of India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) along with Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy of Oman,Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, in Mu scat, Oman.
8th India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting Begins in Muscat:
i.Suresh Prabhu invited Omani companies to invest in India and benefit from ‘Make in India’ and ‘Invest India’ programmes that aim to promote manufacturing.
ii. He said that India and Oman are interested to collaborate in energy, health, business, finance and investments, infrastructure, travel and tourism sectors.
iii. Discussions were held on: cooperation in space, renewable energy, start-up, SMEs, food security, including durable foods and packaging, services sector, tourism sector, exchange of ideas and visit of young entrepreneurs.
iii. Suresh Prabhu said that the Sultanate of Oman is a strategic partner of India in the Gulf.
iv. India Oman bilateral trade has recorded a growth from US$4131.69 million in 2014-15 to US$ 6703.76 million in 2017-18.
v. India’s export to Oman has increased from US$ 2379.44 million to US$ 2439.46 million in 2017-18.
vi. He said that, remarkable contributions of Indians and People of Indian Origin in Oman have been honored by Indian Government’s Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards.
vii. Indian financial institutions like State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, HDFC Ltd and ICICI Securities and Public Sector Undertakings like Air India, Life Insurance Corporation(LIC), New India Assurance Co., Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd.(TCIL), Engineers India Ltd.(EIL), Engineering Projects India Limited (EPIL) and National Building Construction Company (NBCC) operate in Oman.
viii. Indian companies have invested in Oman in iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, textile, cables, chemicals and automotive sectors. The investments are mainly in Sohar and Salalah regions.
ix. India-Oman Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF) is a joint venture of State Bank of India and State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman.
x. It is a special purpose vehicle to invest in India. It is in operation and the initial corpus of US$ 100 million has been fully used.
xi. OIJIF has raised another $ 220 million for the second tranche that is being invested.
About State Bank of India:
♦ Chairman – Rajnish Kumar
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
♦ Tag line – With you all the way, Pure Banking Nothing Else, The Nation’s banks on us

BANKING & FINANCE

7th edition of ‘Transformation Series challenge’ to be unveiled by Yes Bank
On July 17, 2018, Yes bank announced that it would unveil the 7th edition of ‘Transformation Series Challenge’.
i. It has partnered with 12 global leaders like Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and Adobe for the collaboration.
ii. The theme is ‘Tech for Urban Development’.
iii. It will focus on Collaborative Innovation – Collaboration as a Service (CaaS) for harnessing innovative solution from young professionals for issues of national importance.
iv. CaaS is an extension of the bank’s ART (alliances and relationships driven by technology) philosophy.
v. Reward system: A cash prize of Rs.5 lakh will be awarded to the winning team, followed by ₹3 lakh and Rs.2 lakh to the runners-up. Finalists will also get an opportunity for pre-placement interviews with the bank.
Background:
i. Transformation Series was voted the second most prestigious B-School Competition in 2018 by Dare2compete.
ii. In 2017, 30,000 students participated in the series and top three were selected by the NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission.
iii. Over 75.000 students have participated in the challenge since its launch in 2010.
iv. The top 15 teams will get to work on issues national importance in partnership with NITI Aayog.
YES Bank:

  • MD&CEO: Rana Kapoor.
  • Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • Tagline: Experience our Expertise.

India growth forecast cut by 0.1% for 2018 to 7.3%
On July 17, 2018, According to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) update, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s growth projection by 0.1 percentage point for 2018-19.

India growth forecast cut by 0.1% for 2018 to 7.3%IMFi. It now predicts the GDP growth to be 7.3%.
ii. This was done due to the high oil price rise.
iii. The economy was projected to grow 7.8 per cent by 2019-20 which is now cut to 7.5%.
iv. India still remains the fastest-growing economy among large nations in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
v. India grew by 6.7% in FY2017-18.
About China’s growth:
i. China’s gworth projection for FY 2018-19 is 6.6% and for FY2019-20 is 6.4%.
ii. For 2017, Chinas growth rate is 6.9%.
Other announcement:
The global GDP growth is expected to be 3.9% in 2018 and 2019.
India’s GDP prediction by other organizations:
♦ World Bank: for 2018 -19 is 7.3% and for 2019-20 is 7.5%
♦ Asian Development Bank: for 2018-19 is 7.3% and for 2019-20 is 7.6%.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

BEL inks MoU with Swedish firm Saab for marketing air-surveillance radar
On July 17, 2018, Defence manufacturer Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) signed an MOU with Swedish firm SAAB to market air-surveillance radar.

BEL inks MoU with Swedish firm Saab for marketing air-surveillance radari. This would be jointly manufactured by the two companies.
ii. This would be helpful for early detection and tracking of air and surface targets.
iii. The radar would be offered in both ship-borne and land-based configurations. It would also have latest signal processing techniques.

TCS to create Indian digital innovation centre for energy company Total
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced that, it had signed a partnership with French energy company Total to develop a digital innovation centre in India.
TCS to develop digital innovation centre in India:
i. The digital innovation centre will be based in Pune. It will focus on the use of digital technologies to enhance various aspects of the refining business.
ii. The partnership will be based on the TCS concept of “entrepreneurship-in-residence”. Total will work with technology and domains experts of TCS.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Brij Bhushan Saran Singh to be named India’s Chef de Mission at Asian Games
Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Saran Singh would be named the Chef de Mission of the Asian Games-bound Indian contingent.
Brij Bhushan Saran Singh – to be named India’s Chef de Mission at Asian Games:
i. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) would make this announcement later this week.
ii. The 4 deputy Chefs de Mission to be appointed are:

  • B S Kushwaha(former secretary of Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Federation)
  • R K Sacheti(Executive Director of Boxing Federation of India
  • D K Singh(Uttarakhand Olympic Association)
  • Colonel R K Swain(Secretary of Equestrian Federation of India)

iii. The IOA had announced a 524-member contingent of athletes for the Asian Games, that is to be held from 18th August to 2ndSeptember 2018, in Indonesia.
iv. IOA might release a revised list after the court verdict on sailing and handball.
About Indian Olympic Association (IOA):
♦ President – Mr. Narinder Dhruv Batra
♦ Location – New Delhi

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

PhonePe acquires Zopper Retail
On 16th July 2018, PhonePe said that, it has acquired Zopper Retail, in a move to increase its offline business.

PhonePe acquires Zopper RetailPhonePe acquires Zopper Retail:
i. The terms of the acquisition were not revealed. Zopper co-founder and CEO Neeraj Jain will join PhonePe as Head of Product, Offline Merchant Solutions.
ii. Zopper Retail is a hyper local Point of Sale (PoS) platform for small and medium businesses.
iii. ‘Zopper Assure’, a business unit of Zopper that provides extended warranty solutions, is outside the deal. It will continue to function as a separate entity.
iv. PhonePe’s transaction ecosystem involves in-app, online and offline merchants. It said that, investing in the growth of digital transactions at offline merchant locations is a very important part of its strategy.
v. PhonePe had crossed the 100 million user mark and the $ 20 billion annual total payment volume (TPV) run rate in May 2018.
vi. Zopper’s Affinity Programs and Extended Warranty business will be headed by Surjendu Kuila (Zopper co-founder).
About PhonePe:
♦ CEO – Sameer Nigam
♦ Registered Address – New Delhi

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Lupin Goa plant gets United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK MHRA) approval
On 16th July 2018, drug firm Lupin said that, it has received approval from the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK MHRA) for its Goa facility.
Lupin Goa plant gets U.K. approval:
i. Lupin’s Goa facility was inspected by the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (UK MHRA) in March 2018.
ii. Lupin had said that, this approval is a major development for its Goa plant.
About Lupin:
♦ Chairman – Manju D Gupta
♦ Managing Director – Nilesh D Gupta
♦ Based in – Mumbai

IIT-Madras unveils word’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope
On 16th July 2018, the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) launched a remotely operable microscope worth Rs. 40 crore, claimed to be the world’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope, which will allow precise view of atoms of a material.
Word’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope:
i. The Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) has been developed by the collaboration 8 major research institutions in India. It was headed by IIT-M.
ii. IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Ropar, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) contributed Rs. 2 crore each for the project.
iii. Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS) contributed Rs. 3 crore. Remaining funds were from the Department of Science and Technology’s ‘Nano-mission’.
iv. Similar devices were already available in many parts of the world. But the LEAP launched at IIT-Madras is the first one that can be operated through a special terminal by researchers divided geographically.
v.  Special terminals to operate the device have been established in all the 8 partner institutions.
vi. DST Secretary Prof Ashutosh Sharma was present during the launch.
About Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M):
♦ Director – Bhaskar Ramamurthi
♦ Location – Chennai, Tamil Nadu

SPORTS

India jump one place to 5th in latest FIH rankings
On 17th July 2018, India has improved one spot and has reached the 5th position in the men’s hockey world rankings released by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
India jumps to 5th place in latest FIH rankings:
i. India has improved due to its second consecutive runner-up finish at the Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands held in July 2018.
ii. Australia, that had won the Champions Trophy, remained on the top spot.

Country Rank Points
Australia 1 1906
Argentina 2 1883
Belgium 3 1709
Netherlands 4 1654
India 5 1484
Germany 6 1456


iii. Most of the teams in the top 20 have not changed positions. However, 18th placed Austria and 19th placed Egypt have improved ahead of France which is now in 20th position.
About International Hockey Federation (FIH):
♦ President – Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland

2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland
From 10th to 15th July 2018, 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships was held in Tampere Stadium also known as Ratina Stadium, in Tampere, Finland.

2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland2018 IAAF World U20 Championships:
i. 158 countries and 1462 athletes participated in the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships.
ii. Kenya won 6 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 1 bronze medal with a total of 11 medals.
iii. Jamaica won 4 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 3 bronze medals with a total medal count of 12.
iv. United States won 3 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 7 bronze medals with a total count of 18 medals.
v. India won a single gold medal that was fetched by Hima Das.
Hima Das won Gold in the women’s 400 metre event:
i. On 12th July 2018, India’s Hima Das bagged gold medal in the women’s 400 metre event at the IAAF World U20 Championships.
ii. Hima Das has become the first Indian track athlete to win gold medal in a world championship across all age groups. She registered a time of 51.46 seconds in the finals.
iii. Romania’s Andrea Miklos won silver medal with a personal best time of 52.07 seconds. United States’ Taylor Manson registered a timing of 52.28 and finish in third position.
iv. Earlier, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra had won gold medal in Poland in the 2016 edition with a world record.
v. In the World Junior Championships Seema Punia had won bronze medal in discus in 2002 and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon had won bronze medal in discus in 2014.
About IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations):
♦ Sebastian Coe
♦ Headquarters – Monaco