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Current Affairs Today – July 21 2016

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Current Affairs Today-21-july-2016

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Union Cabinet Approvals – July 21, 2016
Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2105 approved by Union Cabinet
i. With the desire of introducing in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, the Union cabinet approved the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 on July 20,2016.
ii. This new amendment fortifies the existing Bill in terms of legal and administrative procedure in order to overcome the practical difficulties which come out in the case of implementation of the provisions of the Bill when it formulates as an Act.
iii. This Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill is aimed at curtailing domestic illegal and black money and it also endows the Government to impound the benami property with the help of proper guidelines and regulations.

Union Cabinet nods for the Indo – Swiss MoU for Skill Development
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed between India and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation for cooperation in skill development.
ii. This MoU was signed on June 22, 2016, during the visit of a delegation, led by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to Switzerland.
iii. This MoU is highly conscious about capacity building and exchange of best practices in the area of skill development between both the nations.

AIIMS Gorakhpur got its approval from the Central Cabinet
i. PM Narendra Modi Cabinet has given approval for the establishment of a new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences AIIMS at Gorakhpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
ii. Under National Health Mission, The establishment of new AIIMS will serve the dual purpose of providing super speciality health care to the population while creating a large pool of doctors and other health workers in this region that can be available for primary and secondary level institutions.
iii. This new centre will also perform research on prevailing regional diseases and other health issues and provide better control and cure of such diseases.

Cabinet Approves a MoU between India and Mozambique on Airline Promotions
i. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved signing of the Air Services agreement between India and Mozambique.
ii. This Agreement intends as a move to regulate and advance air connectivity between the two countries.
iii. As per this agreement designated airlines of either countries to establish offices in the territory of other for the promotion and sale of air services.

Transgender show relief signs after the approval of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Shri. Narendra Modi approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 on July 20.
ii. This Bill has evolved as a mechanism for the social, economic and educational empowerment of transgender persons in India.
iii. The bill proposes that transgender persons be included in the OBC category in case they are not listed as scheduled caste or schedule tribe.
iv. The bill also has provision of jail for minimum six months for those found harassing transgender persons with maximum imprisonment for two years.

The Sagarmala Port Project gets its nod from the Central Union Cabinet 
i. Giving a boost of modernizing port infrastructure Sagarmala programme, the Union Cabinet approved incorporation of Sagarmala Development Co. (SDC) under the Companies Act, 2013.
ii. The Union government decided to incorporate Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) under the Companies Act, 2013. SDC under the administrative control of the ministry of shipping.
iii. The programme has 150 projects comprising of port modernization, connectivity, port-led industrialization and coastal community development.
The Sagarmala Project includes the following ports in India,

West Bengal Sagar Island
Tamil Nadu Colachel
Gujarat Wadhwan
Karnataka Tadadi
Andhra Pradesh Machilipatnam

 

Indo – African MoU gets its approval from Indian Union Cabinet
i. The Union Cabinet sanctioned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Tunisia .
ii. This MoU is signed between both the countries both the countries on June 2, 2016 for toning up bilateral cooperation in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy.

CCEA Approves Ghatampur Thermal Power Project (GTPS) in UP
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Okayed a plan to set up a thermal power plant at Ghatampur in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
ii. This plant is able to generate 1,980 mw thermal energy and this project is figured to cost Rs 17,238 crore.
iii. Ghatampur Thermal Power Project (GTPS) is going to be constituted through a joint venture company named Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Ltd formed jointly by Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam.

CCEA approves for Cochin Shipyard Limited’s new Dry Dock Construction
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved setting up of a new dry dock within the existing premises of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
ii. This new augmentation facility will enable Cochin Shipyard to utilize the market potential of building specialized and technologically-advanced vessels.
iii. This project is figured for an estimated cost of Rs 1799 crore to enhance shipbuilding and repair capacity of Indian maritime Industry.
Once this new platform is set to roll, many specialized vessels like
♦ Liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels
♦ Indigenous higher capacity aircraft carriers
♦ Jack up rigs
♦ Drill ships
♦ Large dredgers
Repairing of offshore platforms and larger vessels can be done at ease.

Union Cabinet approves Election Commission’s proposal to procure EVMs
i. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the proposal of Election Commission to procure Ballot Units.
ii. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Election Commission’s proposal to buy nearly 14 lakh new EVMs today received a push by the government’s first tranche of nearly Rs 920 crore to procure 5.50 lakh new ballot units and 5.45 lakh control units during 2016-17.
iii. The procurement plan for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Units (VVPAT) for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 would be considered subsequently after price negotiations.
iv. Now, PSUs namely Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bengaluru and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd, Hyderabad produce EVMs and VVPATs.
v. It is noted that the EC plans to buy nearly 14 lakh new EVMs at a cost of over Rs 5200 crore before 2019 when the next Lok Sabha polls are due.
vi. The decision to explore the involvement of start-ups for producing new voting machines with paper trail machines got the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a view to have better version of the machines at a competitive and cheap price.

FSSAI issues draft guidelines for standards of instant noodles
i. Food Safety Regulator of India FSSAI announced draft guidelines for standards of noodinstant noodles fortified atta, fortified maida, durum wheat maida, quinoa, fortified rice, tapioca sago or palm sago and pearl millet flour.
Instant Noodles:
ii. The notification issued reads that Instant Noodle are the product made from wheat flour and/or rice flour and/or flour of any other cereals, millets and legumes.
iii. In the ingredients Starches, dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, edible protein and egg Powder may be added, according to the notification.
FSSAI:
♦ Formed‎: ‎August 2011
♦ Headquarters‎: ‎New Delhi
♦ Agency executive‎: ‎ Ashish Bahuguna

4,804 children rescued under ‘Operation Muskan’ in Mumbai
i. Under the Operation Muskan Railway Police from Mumbai city has traced 4,804 missing children and reunited 4,386 of them with their family.
ii. Upon this Operation three rounds were launched distinctly and each round lasted for a month was carried out in the month of July in 2015 and third round was carried out in April this year.
Operation Muskan:
♦ This operation intended to save child-trafficking and rescue children from persons by specially-trained police.

West Bengal to set up apex body to deal with cyber-crime issues
cyber crimei. West Bengal government to set up a cyber-security centre to address the mounding threat of cyber-crimes across the state.
ii. The state is mulling to open an apex body for dealing with all cyber-security the West Bengal Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (WBCS-CoE) to deal with increasing cyber-offences.
iii. The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced such a move along with this she also announced courses on Data Science and Cyber-Security in different colleges located in WB.
West Bengal:
♦ Capital: Kolkata
♦ Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee
♦ Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi

M/O Tourism approves projects of Rs. 275 crore for development of Krishna & Heritage circuit of State of Haryana, Rajasthan & Gujarat under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
i. Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme the Tourism Ministry has give its nod to the project worth Rs. 275 Crore for development of Krishna and Heritage circuit of State of Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
ii. Out of the total outlay Rs 195 crore for Krishna Circuit in Haryana and Rajasthan, however projects worth Rs 80 crore for Heritage Circuit on Mahatma Gandhi theme in Gujarat.
iii. The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) for the Swadesh Darshan Scheme met under the Chairmanship of Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi.
iv. Under Krishna Circuit in State of Rajasthan many sites including Jaipur are covered with total project cost of approximately Rs. 98.00 Crore.

New high-tech museum at Rashtrapati Bhavan
i. New High Museum to come up at Rastrpati Bahvan in New Delhi, The project is expectedrashtrapati-bhavan to be completed in two years.
ii. The Arts center will represent the story of the planning and construction of Rashtrapati Bhavan, is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month during the president’s fourth year completion of the office.
iii. It has 10,000 square metres, that will be built in the form of a high-tech museum that will house precious collections, multiple-screens and holographic projections among other important things.

PM Modi inaugurates Petrapole Integrated Check Post with PM Sheikh Hasina

i.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina on Thursday jointly inaugurated the Petrapole Integrated Check Post (ICP) through video-conferencing. Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee also participated from Kolkata in the video-conference.
ii.Petrapole ICP is the second ICP on the India-Bangladesh border after the Agartala ICP at the Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) land border. It will also be the biggest land port in South Asia.
iii.Inaugurating the Check Post, the Prime Minister said, “Inauguration of the Petrapole Integrated Check Post marks another special moment in India-Bangladesh ties. The Petrapole ICP will enable greater economic integration and significantly improve the connectivity between India and Bangladesh.”
iv. Petrapole-Benapole is an important land border crossing for India-Bangladesh trade. More than 50 per cent of the India-Bangladesh trade passes through Petrapole. Trade worth more than Rs. 15000 Crore takes place through the Petrapole ICP, which is more than all the other Indian Land Ports and Land Customs Stations put together. Approximately 15 lakh people and 150,000 trucks cross Petrapole-Benapole every year.

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

FORTUNE 500 – 2016: 7 Indian Companies among the 500 International Entries
Famous Business Magazine Fortune has released the top 500 listings of the world biggest companies for the year 2016.
The top runners of this listing are as follows,
♦ Wal-Mart with revenue of $482,130
♦ Exxon with revenue of Mobil $246,204
♦ Apple with revenue of $233,715
♦ Berkshire Hathaway with revenue of $210,821
♦ McKesson with revenue of $181,241
♦ UnitedHealth Group with revenue of $157,107
♦ CVS Health with revenue of $153,290
♦ General Motors with revenue of $152,356
♦ Ford Motor with revenue of $149,558
♦ AT&T with revenue of $146,801
There are 7 Indian Companies in this prestigious list. The respective rankings are:-
♦ Indian Oil Corp – 161,
♦ RIL – 215,
♦ Bharat Petroleum – 358,
♦ Hindusthan Petroleum – 367,
♦ Tata Motors – 226,
♦ SBI – 232,
♦ Rajesh Exports – 423.

BRICS Bank board of directors meet in Shanghai
brics-meeti. In the annual meet of the New Development Bank’s board of directors held in Shanghai, financing needs of the five BRICS countries used for Infrastructure was the at stage as the key matter.
ii. The BRICS bank observed that countries like India and South Africa are struggling with infrastructure deficit.
iii. The NDB Board of Directors approved funding for its first Russian project: the development of a small-scale energy project in Karelia.
iv. The new lender is allocating $100 million for the project in Russia, President KV Kamath informed.
BRICS New Development Bank:
♦ Formation‎: ‎July 2015
♦ Headquarters‎: ‎Shanghai‎, China
♦ President‎: ‎K.V. Kamath

IISc top Indian institute in 2016 BRICS rankings
i. According to the higher education analyst Quacquarelli Symonds, Bengaluru based IISC secured Sixth Rank. Also the institute is the India’s top representative in the BRICS ranking list.
ii. In the list released by QS the Analyst the number of universities has increased to 44 as the  reason that the list extends up to 250 from 200 last year .
iii. The QS World University Rankings has been carried out on the basis of good academic and overall performance.
Top 10 Indian universities

Rank Universities
6 Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
13 IIT, Bombay
15 IIT, Delhi
19 IIT, Madras
22 IIT, Kanpur
25 IIT, Kharagpur
39 IIT, Roorkee
41 University of Delhi
54 University of Calcutta
54 IIT, Guwahati

 

India Japan inks Social Security Agreement
i. India and Japan have entered into a social security agreement and benefit thousands of Indian and Japanese professionals and skilled workers working in the both the countries. The Agreement will come into force on 1 October.
India Japan inks Social Security Agreement
ii. The move is to avoid double social security contributions means an Indian worker working in Japan will be exempt from making a social security contribution there. Likewise Japan Workers who serve in India.
iii. This exception for Indian worker if he/she is covered under the social security system of India and continues to pay his or her contribution during the period of overseas contract.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA Marks 40 Years of Viking 1 Mars Landing
i. NASA announced that 40 years ago spacecraft of it named Viking 1 landed on the surface nasa-40of Mars that had a view of the Red Planet (Mars).
ii. The 90-day operation of the NASA was pushed into a six-year mission, paving the way for later Mars rovers like Opportunity and Curiosity.
iii. The spacecraft gladdened down on the Martian surface on July 20, 1976, seven years after Apollo 11 astronauts stepped out onto the moon.

Nasa’s New Institute to Explore Ways to Protect Astronauts
i. American Space Agency NASA has established a new institute for research and development of innovative approaches to reduce risks to astronauts.
ii. As Astronauts have to undergo during long-duration exploration missions, including the journey to Mars.
iii. On behalf of the move the work under the Translational Research Institute Cooperative Agreement, overseen will initiate on October 1.
iv. The Institute named Nasa Translational Research Institute will instrument a bench-to-spaceflight model, stirring results or approaches from laboratory experiments or clinical trials to point-of-care astronaut health issues.