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5 initiatives launched under AMRUT and Smart Cities Mission by the Minister of State (i/c) of Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri
i. On July 9, 2018, Sh. Hardeep S Puri, MoS(I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced the launch of the Smart cities digital payment award and other initiatives under AMRUT and Smart City mission.
ii. Sh. Puri launched several new initiatives under AMRUT and the Smart Cities Mission. They are:
iii. India Smart Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program, India Smart Cities Internship (ISCI) Program and The Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards 2018 and the ‘CITIIS’ challenge under the Smart Cities Mission and the Local Area Plan (LAP)/Town Planning Scheme (TPS) to be implemented in 25 cities on pilot basis under AMRUT………………………………………………….Click here to Read more

Korean President Moon Jae-in to attend India-Korea Business Forum in New Delhi
On July 8, 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in New Delhi on a four day visit to India from July 8-11,2018.
Korean President Moon Jae-in to attend India-Korea Business Forum in New Delhii. He is being accompanied by First Lady Kim Jung-sook on his maiden visit to the nation.
ii. They were received by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh.
Key Points:
i. President Moon along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Gandhi Smriti and Samsung plant which is located in Noida.
ii. He is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attend India-Korea business forum on July 9.
iii. He will be accorded with ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on July 10. He will hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister Modi Hyderabad House.
iv. They will also address the India-South Korea CEOs Roundtable.
v. The two countries are likely to expand the bilateral partnership, particularly in the economic domain.
About India and South Korea’s bilateral relationship:
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited South Korea in 2015 during which the bilateral partnership was elevated to a special strategic partnership. Since then, the relationship has expanded in several areas.
ii. A financing arrangement of 10 billion dollars has been set by the Korean side for infrastructure development in India.
iii. Major items of India’s exports to Korea are mineral fuels/oil distillates, cereals, iron and steel.
iv.Korea’s main export items include automobile parts, telecommunication equipment, hot rolled iron products, petroleum refined products, and nuclear reactors.
v. The total number of Indian nationals living in South Korea is estimated to be around 11,000. Around 1,000 Indian scholars are pursuing postgraduate and Ph. D programmes, mostly in pure sciences in Korea.
Nicknames of Indian Cities:
Delhi: City of Rallies.
Mumbai: City of Seven Islands, Financial Capital of India, Maya Nagari, City of Dreams, Gateway of India , Hollywood of India , Maximum City
Kolkata: City of Joy, City of Palaces , Cultural Capital of India , Gateway of Eastern India, Heaven of the Aged
Chennai:Gateway of South India, Detroit of Asia, Auto Hub of India, Health Capital of India

India, South Korea sign agreements on trade and commerce
On July 9, 2018, Union Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-Chong signed agreements on trade and commerce.
i. Both the leaders (South Korean President and Prime Minister Modi) visited Samsung’s manufacturing site which is expected to produce 10 million units of mobile phones per month by 2020 under the ‘Make in India’ policy.
ii. India and South Korea held discussions to reduce duties on 11 tariff linesin a bid to expand bilateral trade by updating their existing free-trade agreement called the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). 
iii. The two countries arrived at the final tariff lines after intense negotiations in which South Korea offered to reduce tariffs on 17 lines.
iv. The revised CEPA would be signed in the presence of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is on a four-day visit to India.
v. South Korea’s main items of export to India include automobile parts, telecommunication equipment, hot-rolled iron products, petroleum refined products, base lubricating oils, nuclear reactors, mechanical appliances, electrical machinery and parts, and iron and steel products.
vi. Prime Minister Modi will also hold official talks with the South Korean President at Hyderabad House.
i. In 2017-18, India exported goods worth $4.4 billion to South Korea while imports from the latter were worth $16.3 billion. 
South Korea imposes quantitative restrictions on sesame imports and levies a whopping 630% duty on Indian sesame, which India wants reduced.
South Korea:
♦ Capital: Seoul.
♦ Currency: South Korean Won.

World’s largest mobile manufacturing factory of Samsung to be inaugurated in Noida
On July 9, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in would inaugurate ‘world’s largest mobile factory’ of Samsung in India.
World's largest mobile manufacturing factory of Samsung to be inaugurated in Noidai. The Samsung Electronics facility is opening in Noida  which will be for manufacturing mobile phones, and the largest in the world, according to the company.
ii. Samsung’s factory’s 35 acre facility in Sector 81 in Noida will be capable taking manufacturing close to 120 million mobile phones per year, from the current capacity 67 million mobiles, which are being made in India.
iii. Samsung had invested Rs 4,915 crore for the Noida plant.
iv. Samsung’s Noida plant also has a Research and Development Centre, and there’s is a design centre as well. In total over 70,000 people are employed by the plant in Noida.
v. The company had first set up the plant in 1997 for manufacturing television sets in India.
vi. Samsung has two manufacturing plants in India. There’s the one in Sector 81 in Noida, while the second is in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
vii. Samsung is one of the top feature phone manufacturers in India with 20.5 per cent of market share at the end of 2017, according to IDC. In smartphones, Samsung had a 24.7 per cent share over all of 2017.
♦ Founder:  Lee Byung-Chul.
♦ Origin Country: Seoul, South Korea.

Paper on ‘National Health Stack’ released by NITI Aayog
On July 9, 2018, NITI Aayog released the ‘Strategy and Approach paper on the NHS’, terming it as ‘the blueprint for India’s futuristic digital health system’.
To implement the Centre’s flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat and other public healthcare programmes in the country.
Key Points:
i. The proposed initiative will become part of the Centre’s flagship National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
ii. The NHS is proposed to be the country’s first futuristic nationally shared digital healthcare infrastructure usable by both the Centre and states across public and private sectors.
iii. It will be a collection of cloud-based services. One of its major features includes the preparation of a beneficiary registry and linking it with their Aadhaar number
iv. The NHS will facilitate collection of comprehensive healthcare data across the country.
v. It will provide a mechanism through which every user participating in the system can be uniquely identified.
vi. The NHS will significantly bring down the costs of health protection, also enabling a cashless and seamlessly integrated experience for the poorest beneficiaries.
vii. The key components of the NHS includes electronic health registries, coverage and claims platform, digital health ID cards, federated personal health records (PHR) framework and the National Health Analytics Framework.
viii. The stakeholders can send their comments by August 1, 2018.
ix. Kerala became the first state in the country to launch such a kind of initiative in January 2017as the state’s ‘eHealth kerala project’

6 public and private institutes granted the title of ‘Institutions of Eminence’ status :HRD
On July 9, 2018, The University Grants Commission (UGC) announced that the HRD Ministry  granted “Institutions of Eminence” status to three public and three private institutes.

6 public and private institutes granted the title of 'Institutions of Eminence' status :HRDi. The institutions are:  IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay and the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the public sector, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pillani and Jio Institute by Reliance Foundation in the private sector.
ii. Former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami was appointed chairperson of the empowered expert committee (EEC) to select the institutes.
iii. Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry will grant Rs 1,000 crore funds to the three public institutions in the next five years, the private institutes, however, will not be eligible for government funding.
iv. This is in reference to the HRD ministry’s move on select 20 IoEs : 10 public and 10 private that will enjoy complete academic and administrative autonomy.
About the Institute of Eminence:
i. India has 800 univ, but not a single university in top 100 or even 200 in the world ranking.
ii. This decision of the ministry would help the IoEs to get greater autonomy to start new courses, admit foreign students, hire foreign faculty, and collaborate with foreign educational institutions without the need for government approval.
iii. As many as 114 institutes had applied for the tag. These include 11 central universities, 27 institutes of national importance’, top IITs and NITs, 27 state universities, 10 private universities, and four greenfield institutes.
iv. Top corporates competing for the private institutes category are: Reliance Foundation Institution & Research in Maharshtra, Airtel for Bharti University (Satya Bharti Foundation) in Delhi, and Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta University in Odisha, KREA university, ndian School of Business, Hyderabad, Indus Tech University in Delhi and Acharya Institutes of Bangalore.

Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge under PMAY-U to be launched
On July 9, 2018, Global Housing construction technology challenge has been proposed to use the opportunity of large scale construction under PMAY-U to attract the best available global construction technologies.
Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge under PMAY-U to be launchedObjective:
To ensure delivery of houses at a minimum cost, in minimum time while ensuring maximum number of houses in a given area.
Key Points:
i. The Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge (GHTC-I ) will give a boost to building affordable houses in India in a cost effective and sustainable manner.
ii. This will help in technology transfer to our country of globally best available construction technologies and designs and adopting them benefiting the construction industry at large.
iii. CPWD has approved schedule of rates for 8 types of new technologies available in the country. So far, construction of nearly 8.6 lakh houses is being done using these new green technologies.
iv. Progress of the houses on the ground are being monitored through geo-tagging using space technology.
v. Additionally, A National Urban Housing Fund for Rs. 60,000 crores has been set up for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) in phases, for the rapid implementation of PMAY (U).
About the progress of PM Awas Yojana (Urban):
i. Under PMAY (U)  so far more than 51 Lakhs dwelling units have been sanctioned against the validated demand of 1 crore in last 3 years of implementation.
ii. Out of over 51 lakh sanctioned houses, over 28 lakhs have already been grounded and are in various stages of construction.
iii. Further over lakh houses have already been completed and nearly 8 lakh houses have been occupied by the beneficiaries.
iv. The Government of India is committed to provide “Housing for All” by the end of the Mission period-2022.

CIPET: Centre for Skilling & Technical Support (CSTS) and Foundation Stone of new CIPET Building at Doiwala, Dehradun laid by Shri Ananthkumar
On July 9, 2018, The Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers announced that Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananthkumar will be inaugurating the CIPET:  Centre for Skilling & Technical Support (CSTS) at ITI Building and laying the foundation stone of new Central Institute of Plastics Engineering &Technology (CIPET) Building at Doiwala, Dehradun on July 10,2018.
Dignitaries expected to be present as guests of honour:
Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Union Minister of State for Planning (IC) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh and Member of Parliament, Haridwar, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
Other dignitaries present will be : Secretary, Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Government of India, Shri P. Raghavendra Rao; JS, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ms. Aparna S. Sharma and other senior officers from the Central and State Governments and members from plastics fraternity will be participating in the function.
Key Poits:
i. The CIPET Centre at Doiwala will train and develop around 1000 students in the first year of its operation through various skill development training programmes and subsequently Diploma level programmes.
ii. The CIPET: CSTS at Dehradun is being established with a total project cost of Rs. 51.32 crore having funding support of Government of India and Government of Uttarakhand on 50:50 basis.
iii. The centre will start functioning in the existing refurbished building of ITI Doiwala and new building will be constructed on 10 acres of adjacent land which is under process of allotment to CIPET.
iv. To meet the industry demands, 09 more CIPET centres are in process of implementation at Medak, Jaipur, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Varanasi, Agartala, Chandrapur and Mumbai.
v. Currently, CIPET operates from 31 locations spread across the country and CIPET: CSTS, Dehradun will be the 32nd centre.
About CIPET:
i. CIPET, under the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Government of India, offers Diploma, Post Diploma, Post Graduate Diploma, Undergraduate, Post Graduate & Doctoral programmes in the entire gamut of plastics engineering and technology.
ii. CIPET has established two Schools for Advanced Research in Polymers (SARP) – Advanced Research School for Technology & Product Simulation (ARSTPS) & Laboratory for Advanced Research in Polymeric Materials (LARPM). These SARPs exclusively focus on application oriented sponsored research projects in the niche area of Polymer Science & Technology.
iii. During the last four years 2014 -18, CIPET has trained around 2.42 lakh manpower through long-term as well as short-term skill development training programs.
iv. It is fully devoted to ‘STAR” – Skill Development, Technology Support Services, Academic and Research in all the domains of Plastics Engineering & Technology, which include Design, CAD/CAM/CAE, Tooling, Processing and Testing, and Quality Control for the growth of Plastics & allied industries in the country.
v. The government programmes CIPET is contributing towards are: ‘MAKE IN INDIA’, SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN, DIGITAL INDIA , START UP INDIA.

International Round Table Conference on “Data for New India’’
On 9th and 10th July 2018, a 2 day International Round Table Conference is organized by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in New Delhi.
International Round Table Conference on “Data for New India’’:
i. The objective of this Conference is to identify innovative ideas to enhance the statistical system in India.
ii. For this the best practices followed in advanced countries like Canada, UK and Australia will be learned.
iii. This kind of Conference is organized for the first time in India. The Conference was inaugurated by D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister of Statistics & Programme Implementation.
iv. Anil Arora, Chief Statistician, Statistics Canada, Jonathan Palmer, former Deputy Statistician, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director for India, statistical experts and senior officers in the Government take part in this conference.
v. Also, Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairperson of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and Member NITI Aayog, Dr. R.B. Barman, Chairperson, National Statistical Commission, Dr. Pronab Sen, former Chairperson, National Statistical Commission, and Prof. T.C.A. Anant, former Chief Statistician of India are also participating in this conference.
vi. Discussions will be held on major statistical issues like data governance structure and capabilities, organizational issues, managing data systems in a federal structure and resource mobilization for quality of statistical products.
vii. The conference aims to suggest measures for initiating reform process in the Indian Statistical System.
About Central Statistics Office (CSO):
♦ Director General – Rajeev Lochan
♦ Purpose – coordinates the statistical activities in India and evolves statistical standards

Global Travel Mart India (GTMI):1st India Tourism Mart to be organized in New Delhi from 16th-18th  of Sept 2018.
On July 9, 2018, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has finally decided to hold The 1st Global Travel Mart India (GTMI) on September 16 and 18 in New Delhi.
i. The first edition of the Mart will be organized in partnership with FAITH, the umbrella body representing all the industry associations in the country.
ii. It will have components like B2B meetings on the first day, Investors Meet and Workshops on the consecutive days.
iii. This initiative aims to bring 200 potential international buyers for the show.
iv. GMTI is conceived as a platform to give opportunities for small and medium business in the industry to showcase their products before the international buyers.
More about the measures taken by the Tourism Ministry:
iThe Incredible India 2.0 campaign has been successfully rolled out in major markets.
ii. New films on niche markets like Ayurveda, Yoga, Luxury, Cuisine, etc are being showcased.
iii. Current campaigns will run throughout the year to promote India as a 365-day destination.
iv. India Tourism Marketing Representatives (ITMRs) will be appointed in identified destinations like Korea for the promotion of India’s tourism and market.
Ministry of Tourism:
♦ Minister of State (I/C): Alphons Kannanthanam.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.

Complete ban on plastic polythene and thermocol: Himachal Pradesh Govt
On July 9, 2018, Himachal Pradesh Government announced that it is banning the use of plastic and thermocol cutlery in the state.
i. This will come under Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 1995.
ii. Himachal Pradesh was the first state in the country to ban plastic and polythene carry bags in 2009.
iii. According to the ban, breach of the law shall be liable for the penalty ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 25,000.
iv.There would be a stop for commercial establishments to vendors of using cups, plates, glasses, spoons or any other items made out of thermocol or plastic in the state.
v. This would not only help in environment conservation but also promote eco-tourism in the State.
vi. Apart from Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have also imposed ban on plastic.
i. Earlier, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on ‘World Environment Day’ had announced to impose a blanket ban on the use of plastic and thermocol cutlery in the State.
ii. Despite the complete ban on polythene bags, plastic cutlery still using in the state and therefore desired results have not been achieved.
Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: Jai Ram Thakur.
♦ Governor: Acharya Dev Vrat.
♦ Dams in Himachal Pradesh:  Maharana Pratap Sagar, Bhakhra Dam, Gobind Sagar, Giri Nagar Pwer Project.


Despite US-China trade war India’s engineering exports rise up 20 per cent: EEPC
On July 6,2018, Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) said that Indian engineering exports have risen up 20 per cent during the April-May 2018 period despite the US-China trade war.
Key Points:
i. The US ranked number one exporting destination for Indian engineering products in May and registered a cumulative expansion of 19.75 per cent for the April-May period.
ii. India’s cumulative engineering exports to the US increased to $1.86 billion from $1.56 billion in the same period the previous fiscal.
iii. Engineering exports to the US include non-ferrous metals, automobiles and automobile component.
iv. There has been a drop of about one per cent in exports of steel products to the US to $250.86 million, from $253.44 million from India.
About the trade war:
i. The US-China trade war consists of the two sides started slapping additional tariffs on each other’s goods, worth nearly $70 billion.
ii. Washington began taxing 818 Chinese goods worth $34 billion for pressuring US companies to hand over their technologies for doing business in China.
 About Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC):
♦ It is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
♦ Set up in 1955.
♦ Head office: Kolkata.

Second production line for BrahMos TLC launched by L&T in Vadodara,Gujarat
On July 7,2018, L&T Defence, the defence arm of engineering, technology and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) announced the inauguration of a new second production line for BRAHMOS Transport Launch Canister (TLC) at Ranoli, near Vadodara , Gujarat.

Second production line for BrahMos TLC launched by L&T in Vadodara,GujaratObjective:
To cater to the serial production requirements of BRAHMOS Supersonic Cruise Missile System.
Key Points:
i. It was inaugurated by Dr. Sudhir K Mishra, DS & Director General (BrahMos) and CEO & MD, BrahMos Aerospace.
ii. The second production line was inaugurated in the state of Gujarat to manufacture canisters designed for storage, transportation and launch of BRAHMOS missiles. The unit would manufacture canisters and airframes for BrahMos missile that can be launched from land and sea.
iii. It would serve a dual function of providing a container for storage cum transport and launch. This would make the supply in excess of five canisters a month.
iv. BRAHMOS has been integrated with L&T-manufactured Composite Airframes and two different versions of Transport Launch Canister (TLC). L&T Defence has successfully completed the realisation of Composite Airframes for the tactical missile.
v. L&T Defence is augmenting the infrastructure at its Precision Manufacturing & Systems Complex Coimbatore by adding a Composites Facility, which will also cater to the serial production requirements of BRAHMOS Missile Programme.
vi. L&T Defence has also been closely involved in the design, development and production of Launchers and Fire Control Systems for the BRAHMOS Naval platforms.
The BrahMos (designated PJ-10) is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world. It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

HCL Technologies gets government’s nod to set up SEZ in Andhra Pradesh
The commerce ministry has approved a proposal of HCL Technologies to establish a new IT special economic zone (SEZ) in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, with a proposed investment of Rs 408.48 crore.
HCL Technologies gets government’s nod to set up SEZ in Andhra Pradesh:
i. On 19th June 2018, an inter-ministerial Board of Approval, headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia considered HCL Technologies’ proposal at its meeting.
ii. The board approved the proposal for establishing the SEZ over an area of 10.43 hectares.
iii. The board also approved the cancellation of formal approval given to OSE Infrastructure since the developer did not make any significant progress on the project. The company was involved in the development of an IT special economic zone in Noida.
iv. SEZs are developed as export hubs. They contribute nearly 25 % in India’s total exports.
v.Units and developers of these zones get tax and non-fiscal benefits and clearance from a single window mechanism.
vi.There are 223 operational SEZs with 5,146 units from several sectors like IT, pharma, textile, food processing, leather, biotechnology and diamond polishing.
vii.Most of these zones function in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
viii.Recently, commerce ministry formed a group to study the SEZ policy, headed by Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani.
Tag lines of some banks:
♦ Bank of India – Relationships beyond banking
♦ Bank of Maharashtra – One Family one bank
♦ Corporation Bank – A premier public sector bank

Indian Railways Introduces First Double Stack Dwarf Container Service from Rajkot Division, Western Railway
On 7th July 2018, Indian Railways introduced Double Stack Dwarf Container Services from Western Railway’s Rajkot railway station on its first commercial run.
First Double Stack Dwarf Container Service:
i. Indian Railways has introduced Double Stack Dwarf Container Services to capture the lost traffic through new delivery model for domestic cargo under the guidance of Piyush Goyal, Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal.
ii. This train was booked from the Reliance Rail Siding at Kanalus to Rewari in f Haryana. It was loaded with 82 containers of Polypropylene Granules.
iii. Through this Double Stacked Dwarf Container service, Indian Railways has obtained increased revenue of Rs. 18.50 lakhs.
iv. The Double Stacked Container is 6 ft 4 inches in height. It can operate on electrified tracks. The dwarf containers have a capacity of 30,500 kg.
v. In comparison with regular containers, these containers are 662 mm short but 162 mm wider.
vi. The dwarf containers can hold a volume of 67% more compared to traditional containers.
vii. Due to its height, the regular double stack ISO containers can operate only on few chosen routes on Indian Railways. But the dwarf Containers can operate on most of the tracks.
viii. These containers in double stack formation can operate under 25kV overhead lines. Through these double-stack dwarf containers, the cost of the unit will be reduced significantly.
ix. Low Density Products like plastic granules, PVC polyester fabric, white goods, FMCG products, polyethylene, auto car, etc. are transported mostly by road,  at present.
x. Now due to the low cost of transportation in dwarf containers, they can be transported through railways.
x. At the general freight rate, the double-stack dwarf container trains can produce more than 50% of the revenue.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Moti Lake – Madhya Pradesh
♦ Sarang Pani Lake – Madhya Pradesh
♦ Shahpura Lake – Madhya Pradesh


Michael Ondaatje’s ‘The English Patient’ wins Golden Booker Prize
On 8th July 2018, Michael Ondaatje’s ‘The English Patient’ won the special one-off Golden Man Booker Prize to mark the 50th anniversary of the literary award at the Man Booker 50 Festival in London.

Michael Ondaatje's 'The English Patient' wins Golden Booker PrizeMichael Ondaatje’s ‘The English Patient’ – Golden Booker Prize:
i. Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lanka-born Canadian. ‘The English Patient’ is a story of love and conflict during World War II.
ii. Earlier, ‘The English Patient’ had shared the 1992 Booker Prize with Barry Unsworth’s ‘Sacred Hunger’.
iii. A panel of judges read the works of all 52 former winners of the award. Then 5 books were put on a public vote. The public voted and chose ‘The English Patient’ for the award.
iv. The Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group. Man Group is an investment management firm.
v. The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969. It has been sponsored by Man Group from 2002.
Some important museums in India:
♦ Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum – Vadodara, Gujarat
♦ Sabarmati Ashram – Ahmedabad, Gujarat
♦ Sanskar Kendra – Ahmedabad, Gujarat


Sun Pharma signs Akshay Kumar as brand ambassador for Revital H
On 9th July 2018, drug firm Sun Pharmaceutical Industries said that, Sun Pharma Consumer Healthcare has named actorAkshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of health supplement Revital H.
Akshay Kumar – brand ambassador for Revital H:
i. Sun Pharma CEO – India, Emerging Markets and Consumer Healthcare Kal Sundaram said that, Akshay Kumar will be a perfect ambassador for Revital H.
ii. A marketing campaign featuring Akshay Kumar was released on 9th July 2018. Revital H is one of India’s leading and most trusted health supplement for over twenty years.
About Sun Pharma:
♦ Chairman – Israel Makov
♦ Corporate Office – Mumbai

Panasonic appoints Vivek Sharma as new MD for Indian Electricals Business
On 9th July 2018, Anchor Electricals Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation announced that, Vivek Sharma has been appointed as the company’s new Managing Director to head its electricals business.
Panasonic appoints Vivek Sharma as new MD for Indian Electricals Business:
i. Vivek Sharma will drive the electricals arm and supervise growth of all businesses like wiring devices, switchgears, wires, cables and tapes, conduit pipes, lighting, solar, housing, power tools and indoor air quality.
ii. He has more than 32 years of experience in lighting and consumer electronics sector. Earlier he worked with Everstone Capital Partners, as Partner Operations.
About Panasonic India Pvt. Ltd:
♦ President and CEO Panasonic India and South Asia – Manish Sharma
♦ Head Office – Gurgaon

Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns
On 9th July 2018, David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary.
Resignation of David Davis:
i. David Davis declared that he could not support British Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to unite her divided cabinet.
ii. He said that, it involved a very close relationship with the European Union and only provided an illusion of control being returned to the UK after Brexit.
iii. Dominic Raab, a junior minister for housing policy, has been named Brexit Secretary, to replace David Davis.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Chinnaswamy Stadium – Bengaluru, Karnataka
♦ Sree Kanteerava Stadium – Bengaluru, Karnataka
♦ Mangala Stadium – Mangalore, Karnataka


2 satellites PRSS-1 and PAK-TES-1A were launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China
On 9th July 2018, Pakistan launched 2 indigenously built satellites named PRSS-1 and PAK-TES-1A into the orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China, through a Chinese-made launch vehicle.

2 satellites PRSS-1 and PAK-TES-1A were launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest ChinaPRSS-1 and PAK-TES-1A:
i. The satellites were launched onboard a Chinese Long March (LM-2C) rocket. The first satellite sent into space was PRSS1, a remote sensing satellite.
ii. It is a dual-purpose Earth observational and optical satellite. Now Pakistan has become one of the few countries to establish its own remote sensing satellite into orbit.
iii. The second satellite launched was PAK-TES-1A. PAK-TES-1A has been developed by Pakistan’s space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).
iv. This aims to enhance satellite manufacture capabilities in Pakistan. The 2 satellites were sent to China since Pakistan does not have the infrastructure to launch such objects into space.
v. The PRSS1 has been developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). This is the second time China and Pakistan have joined hands in the space sector.
vi. In 2011, Pakistan launched a communication satellite named PAKSAT-1R, with the help of China.
Some important airports in India:
♦ Imphal International Airport – Imphal, Manipur
♦ Biju Patnaik International Airport – Bhubaneswar, Odisha
♦ Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport – Amritsar, Punjab

Lupin gets USFDA approval for generic malaria drug: Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate tablets
On 9th July 2018, Lupin, a drug firm said that, it has obtained approval from the U S Food and Drug Administration forHydroxychloroquine Sulfate tablets that is used to treat malaria.
Lupin gets USFDA nod for Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate tablets:
i. Lupin has received final approval from the USFDA for its product which is a generic version of Concordia Pharmaceuticals, Inc’s Plaquenil tablets.
ii. This drug is meant for the treating malaria and acute and chronic rheumatoid arthritis in adults.
About Lupin:
♦ Chairman – Mrs Manju D Gupta
♦ Corporate Office – Mumbai


Seven new wasp species discovered in the Amazon forests
Researchers have discovered 7 new wasp species of the genus Clistopyga from Peru, Venezuela and Colombia in the Amazon forests.
Seven new wasp species discovered in the Amazon forests:
i. A report regarding this has been published in Zootaxa. The report includes their morphology like colouration, wing size and other features.
ii. The new wasp species are:

  • Clistopyga crassicaudata
  • Clistopyga kalima
  • Clistopyga panchei
  • Clistopyga taironae
  • Clistopyga nigriventri
  • Clistopyga splendida
  • Clistopyga isayae

iii. Clistopyga crassicaudata has been named after its distinctly thick ovipositor. The ovipositor is a tube-like organ that helps to lay eggs and also to inject venom.
iv. Researchers have said that, these new species could be parasitoid wasps that lay their eggs near a host. Then the larvae feeds on it and eventually kills.
v. The female wasps inject their venom into spiders, paralyse them, and lay their eggs on them. The larvae feed on the paralysed spiders and their eggs.
vi. Clistopyga kalima, Clistopyga panchei and Clistopyga taironae have been named to honour the Kalimas, Panches and Toiranas, who are indigenous tribe groups of Colombo.
vii. Clistopyga nigriventri indicates its entirely black body. Clistopyga splendida has been given this name due to its multicoloured body.
viii. Clistopyga isayae has a white and brown body. It has been named in honour of the wife of Francisco Díaz, one of the authors of the paper.
Some important bird sanctuaries in India:
♦ Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu
♦ Vellode Birds Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu
♦ Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu


T20 rankings: India move up to second place, Rahul rises to career-high third spot
Indian batsman Lokesh Rahul has improved 9 places and reached a career-high 3rd position in the latest ICC T20 rankings.
ICC T20 rankings:
i. His team has obtained 2nd spot in the team standings after the series win against England.
ii. Lokesh Rahul has become India’s highest-ranked batsman. He is followed by Rohit Sharma in 11th rank who has improved by 2 positions and Virat Kohli in 12th rank who has moved down by 4 places.
iii. Australia’s Aaron Finch has become the first player in the history of T20 Internationals to break the 900-point mark.
iv. He has improved 3 places to finish the tri-series in Harare against Pakistan and Zimbabwe as the top-ranked batsman in T20 format.
v. In the bowling side, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan and Pakistan’s Shadab Khan have retained the top 2 positions.
vi. Australia’s Andrew Tye has improved 41 places and reached 7th place.  England’s Adil Rashid has secured 9th position, England’s Liam Plunkett has reached 11th spot, and England’s David Willey has secured 15th position.
vii. Australia’s Billy Stanlake has secured 19th spot. Pakistan has retained the top position in team rankings.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
♦ CEO – Rahul Johri
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai