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Current Affairs Today – July 20 2016

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Current Affairs Today - July 20 2016Indian Affairs

Rajya Sabha passes child labour amendment bill

Child Labor law which emphasizes to permits children below 14 to work in family enterprises after school and on holiday has been amended by the Rajya Sabha on July 20, 2016.

NEET Exam Amendment Bill was passed by the Parliament

For the well being of the Indian Medical Industry, two important bills namely The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016 were passed by the parliament. Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda introduced both the bills in the Lower House of Parliament.

Six new IITs got grounds cleared through the latest Bill in Parliament

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, who introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha which designs at bringing the six new IITs and also the Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad under the scope of the IIT Act.


The six new IITs are proposed to be set up at the following locations,

  • IIT Tirupati,
  •  IIT Palakkad,
  • IIT Goa,
  • IIT Dharwar,
  •  IIT Bhilai and
  • IIT Jammu.

The newly amended bill aims at declaring ISM Dhanbad as an institute of national importance and to integrate it with the IIT system and it would be called IIT (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad. 

Union Government reveals a shocking fact of glacier melting due to Global Warming
i. The union environment ministry revealed a shocking fact that almost all Indian glaciers, including Gangotri, are melting at a rate of 5 to 20 meters per year owing to the worst global warming issues.
ii. The studies carried out by ISRO, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIGH), Dehradun and other institutions have revealed that a majority of the glaciers are retreating at varying rates from 5 meter to 20 meter per year.
iii. The parliament was also informed that a study on the length and area changes of 82 glaciers – a net loss of 4.6% located in the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda river basins, using remote sensing.
iv. The survey is done through by the in-situ measurements as well as remote sensing data indicated that the rate of retreat was not even for all glaciers.
v. The government has also set up a Centre for Glaciology at WIHG, funded by the department of science and technology, to carry out detailed investigations of glacier masses in the Himalayan region.

Rs. 28,000 cr released under MGNREGA
i. Parliament was informed by Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav that this year over Rs. 28,000 crore has been released Union government to States under MGNREGA Scheme to disburse last year’s accountabilities and for running the programme in the ongoing year.
ii. To avoid delay in paying wages to the beneficiaries of the Scheme government  has started National Electronic Fund Management System in 11 States.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA)
♦ The MGNREGA bill was enacted in 2005 is the world’s largest rural Employment guarantee Act Programme. On which funds are released to the states on the basis of need of labour budget and performance basis.

Vadodara to host world power ministers at ‘Switch’ summit
i. Vadodara in Gujarat to host World Electrical Buyers Summit – named as ‘SWITCH’ which is a two-day meet of State Power Ministers under the leadership of Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal.
ii. The summit will feature with Power Ministers from 30-35 countries is termed as the country’s largest electrical summit to be held in during October 6-10.
iii. The mega event will feature will with power utilities from 90 countries and over 100 Indian power utilities apart from buyers globally.

BHEL commissions 40 MW hydro power unit in West Bengal
i. New Delhi based Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) successfully commissioned the Teesta Low Dam hydroelectric project stage-IV of third unit West Bengal.
ii. The plant is located in Darjeeling. The project on the River Teesta HEP is established by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
iii. On the other hand two units of the project are also in the pipeline of execution. The project is estimated annual energy generation of 720 million units.

CSE Cleanest city survey 2016 – Alappuzha tops the list, Three North-Eastern Capital cities in the Top 10 rankings
i. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) a New Delhi-based research and advocacy organization, has released the 10 cleanest cities of the country in a survey conducted by this organization.
ii. This survey ranking is based on the waste management system. The top ranked cities follows proper solid waste management techniques like zero landfills, segregation of waste at source and decentralized waste management system.
iii. The top 10 places go to the following cities,

  1. Alappuzha, Kerala.
  2. Panaji, Goa
  3. Mysuru, Karnataka.
  4. Boobli, Andhra Pradesh
  5. Aizawl, Mizoram
  6. Pune, Maharashtra
  7. Surat, Gujarat
  8. Suryapet, Telegana
  9. Gangtok, Sikkim
  10. Agartala, Tripura

Thought these 10 cities tops the listings, even in these cities waste management systems are not established up to the mark. Top few cities collect, segregate and process the wastes, while other cities fails to process the collected waste.
iv. It is noted that Municipal commissioners and people of Alappuzha, Panaji and Mysuru were recently awarded by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

International Affairs

India and USA ties up for Petroleum & Renewable Energy conservation
i. An agreement was signed between Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and US Secretary of Energy Dr Ernest Moniz in Washington
ii. According to this agreement, the two countries agreed to enhance institutional and technical cooperation in specific areas such as assessment and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves inIndia both onshore and offshore; new technologies in development of second generation bio-fuel and development of Petroleum storage.
iii. The two ministers also agreed on the need for regular meetings of officials and experts from both sides
iv. India and the United States have chose to forge closer institutional and technical co-operation in the energy sector for re-assessment of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves in India.
v. In the last ten years, several areas of cooperation, such as technology for production from marginal fields, shale structures, developing gas pipeline network, improving refinery efficiency had been identified between both the nations.

First ever Zika Virus testing on Humans is going to be conducted in CANADA
i. A Canadian university is going to conduct the world’s first Zika vaccine test on humans as health authorities scramble to counter the explosively spreading virus.
ii. A Quebec City-based research team from this Canadian University has received the green light to begin testing a Zika vaccine on humans in collaboration with U.S.-based partners.
iii. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus. It is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictusIts name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.
iv. The first phase of study involves administering the vaccine to 40 volunteers spread out over the three sites in Quebec City, Miami and Philadelphia.  
v. It is found that Zika virus is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes and there is no existing treatment or vaccine for it. The virus is capable of causing serious birth defects and has traveled quickly through Latin America.

Banking & Finance

Indian PSU banks boosted up the Central Government
i. In order to boost lending and shore up economic growth,the government has provided Rs 22,915 crore capital to 13 state-run banks.
ii. The capital infusion exercise for the current year is based on an assessment of need as assessed from the CAGR of credit growth for the last five years
iii. The move will provide liquidity support for lending operations and also enable banks to raise funds from the markets.
iv. It is noted that RBI has lowered interest rates by 150 bps since January 2015 to 6.5 percent, transmission of policy appears to have stalled.
iv. Money allocated to individual banks as follows:-

Bank NameAmount in Crore
State Bank of India7575
Indian Overseas Bank3101
Punjab National Bank2816
Bank of India1784
Central bank of India1729
Syndicate Bank1034
UCO Bank1033
Canara Bank997
United Bank of India810
United Bank of India721
Corporation Bank677
Dena Bank594
Allahabad Bank44



Ford Motor to invest Rs 1300 cr to set up global business centre in Chennai
i. Detroit-based Ford Motor’s Indian arm pledged to invest Rs.1,300 crore in a technology and business centre in Chennai to provide support services for the parent’s offices spread across the globe.
ii. The business centre will come up in Ford Plant located in Chennai would come in operational by 2019.The plant has two units that makes and sells Ford vehicles.
iii. Ford Motor Pvt. Ltd has got the Tamil Nadu government’s approval earlier this year to set up a global technology and business centre under ELCOT’s special economic zone (SEZ) in Chennai

NITI Aayog signs deal with Intel to foster Young Innovators of India
i. A two-year statement of intent (SOI) signed between NITI AAYOG and tech giant Intel India to set up the first 10 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in the country to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination among young innovators.
ii. NITI Aayog also organized an expert consultative group meeting on creating a framework for operating 500 ATLs.
iii. A sum of $15 million has been earmarked to be spent over a period of next five years to build and manage 500 ATLs in schools and communities around the country and these first 10 ATLs will act as exemplars for the rest of them.
iv. The first 10 labs intend to impact 250,000 youth with innovation skills for the future across 500 communities and schools.
v. As part of the initiative, Intel India will facilitate ideation, design thinking and prototyping workshops through industry experts and co-lead an innovation festival.

Awards & Recognitions

Nigerian journalist Didi Akinyelure wins BBC World News Komla Dumor Award
i. Nigerian journalist journalist  Didi Akinyelure has bagged this year’s BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.
ii. On behalf the award Didi will be offered three-month placement at the BBC office in London later this year to gain skills and experience by attending a course.
iii. She is working as a prime-time news anchor in Nigeria and also works in business news for CNBC- African broadcasting section.
iv. The award was coined after Ghanaian journalist Komla Dumor. He was a presenter for BBC World News who had died in 2014.

Chennai’s Advay Ramesh wins Google Community Impact Award from Asia
i. Chennai hailed Advay Ramesh has bagged the prominent Google Community Impact Award from Asia for creating a device that enhances fishermen’s safety and productivity.
ii. This award honors a project through that practical variance in the innovator’s community by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge.
iii. The boy Ramesh who is in Class 10 student from Chennai’s National Public School, whose project shortlisted among 20 finalists shortlisted to contend for a $50,000 scholarship from Google.

Appointments & Resigns

Steve Elworthy appointed MD of ICC World Cup 2019
i. Former South Africa pacer Steve Elworthy has been named as Managing Director of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 according to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
ii. Steve will watch over the Champions Trophy to be held in 2017 and Women’s World Cup 2017 to be hosted in England and Wales.
iii. Earlier he had served as tournament director for World T20 in 2007 and 2009 and the Champions Trophy in 2013.
iv. Elworthy played 4 Tests and 39 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and took 57 international wickets for Proteas.
♦ Founded: June 15, 1909
♦ Chairperson: Shashank Manohar
♦ CEO: Dave Richardson
♦ Headquarters: United Arab Emirates

Coco – Cola India gets new Vice President (Finance) – Sarvita Sethi
i. Sarvita Sethi has been appointed as the Vice-President – Finance for India and South West Asia of the beverages major Coca-Cola on July 19.
ii. The India and South West Asia Business Unit of The Coca-Cola Company includes Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives besides India.
iii. She has been addressed to this position in order to line with the goal of promoting and developing Coca-Cola leaders and also maintaining a steady pipeline of senior talent in the system.
iv. Sethi who was most recently Commercial Finance Director for the Coca-Cola Central and Southern (CSE) Business based in Athens.
v. She has been a part of Coca-Cola for eight years and earlier she was Commercial Finance Director – Great Britain and Ireland, based in London.


Rohit Khandelwal – First Indian to become the Mr. World

rohit-khandelwali. Popular actor and model, Rohit Khandelwal is the first Indian to clinch the most desired Mr World title.
ii. The 26 years lad from Hyderabad had been crowned the title after a crucial judgment in the grand ceremony held in UK on July 19.
iii. In this grand ceremony, the title winner Rohit is followed by Mr Puerto Rico Fernando Álvarez and Mr Mexico Aldo Esparza Ramírez.
iv. This young lad previously worked as the ground staff of Spice Jet and also worked in some Television channels. Yeh Hai aashiqui and M TV’s Big F are some of his famous small screen shows.

WADA recommends banning Russia from Olympics
i. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommends for Russia ban from all international competition, including Rio Games.
ii. Also International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it is mulling for legal options’ for banning Russia from the Games.
iii. Over 10 national anti-doping organisations – including those in the United States, Germany have planning to request a complete ban on Russian Participation at the Rio Games and the International Olympic Committee.
iv. IOC also went on to say that mulling to re-test all Russians who participated at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

HERBALIFE teams up with IOA to become the official nutritional partner for Rio-OlympicsHERBALIFE
i. Global premier nutrition company Herbalife International India has to be the official nutrition sponsor of the Indian Olympic contingent to Rio de Janeiro by signing a two-year exclusive partnership with Indian Olympic Association.
ii. Herbalife Internationalis an American multinationalmulti-level marketing company that develops, markets and sells nutrition supplements for weight management, sports nutrition and personal-care products.
iii. The teaming up of Herbalife and Indian Olympic Association marks a new chapter in Indian sports sharing a common vision of holistic development of sports through nutrition.
iv. This nutrition value also plays a crucial role in a sportsperson’s life, involving nutrition education and knowledge forums for athletes of various federations.
v. Being Rio-Olympics as it debut, this nutrition giant is speculating for a long-term partnership with IOA in an effort to select sports federations for development of sports and its athletes.


Hockey legend Mohammed Shahid passes awayMohammed Shahid
i. Hockey legend Mohammed Shahid has passed away owing to a severe liver condition and kidney failure in Gurgaon. He was 56 year old.
ii. The man who won a gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympic games who was awarded the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri.
iii. The UP hailed man also represented the country in 1982 and 1986 Asian Games.

Books & Authors

Book titled The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh
i. Book titled “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable”, was in the news that has explains information about climate change, the catastrophe unfolding around us and the conspiracy of silence around the dangers of it.
ii. The book was writer Amitav Ghosh’s latest book in that the author demanding to expose terminologies and myths usually associated with climate change.
iii. The author also explained that it was absurd to say that technology has actually led to the problem of climate change.