Latest Current Affairs – July 09 & 10 2018
1. France become first finalists of 2018 WC, knock out Belgium
France defeated Belgium to reach the FIFA World Cup final for overall third time and the first time since 2006. France had defeated Brazil to clinch their only World Cup title in 1998, while they lost to Italy in the 2006 edition’s final. Further, this is the second time that Belgium have crashed out of WC in semi-finals.
2. Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid after 9 years, joins Juventus
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has left Spanish club Real Madrid after nine years, joining Italian side Juventus in a reported £105-million (₹956-crore) four-year deal. The five-time Ballon d’Or-winner scored 451 goals in 438 matches for the Spanish team, winning two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies. He also became Real Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer during his tenure.
3. China launches 2 spy satellites for Pakistan
China launched the PRSS-1 and the PakTES-1A satellites for Pakistan from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. According to the Chinese state media, the PRSS-1 will be used for land and resources surveying and monitoring of natural disasters, among other purposes. The PRSS-1 is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan.
4. Andhra Pradesh tops ease of doing business ranking for 2nd year
Andhra Pradesh has topped the ease of doing business 2016-17 rankings released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for the second year in a row with a score of 98.42%. Andhra Pradesh is followed by Telangana, Haryana, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan. Meghalaya has been ranked last in ease of doing business.
5. Telescope that found 5,000 planets ‘put to sleep’ over low fuel
Expected to run out of fuel in a few months, NASA has placed its Kepler Space Telescope in a no-fuel-use safe mode to download its latest scientific data. Launched in 2009, Kepler has discovered over 5,000 candidates and confirmed exoplanets. The Earth-orbiting observatory will point its antenna towards the planet for data transfer and will begin operations in August, said NASA.
6. Ethiopia, Eritrea declare end to 20-year war
The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a declaration to fully implement a peace deal reached in 2000, ending the 20-year war between the two countries. Both the nations also agreed to re-establish trade and diplomatic ties. Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993, and the two countries fought a border war from 1998 to 2000.
7. Jeremy Hunt appointed new UK Foreign Secretary
British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Jeremy Hunt as Foreign Secretary after Boris Johnson resigned in protest at the government’s Brexit plan. “Time to back our PM to get a great Brexit deal – it’s now or never,” Hunt said. Notably, Hunt backed “Remain” during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign.
8. Samsung opens world’s largest mobile phone factory in Noida
South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung on Monday opened the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturing factory in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The facility, inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, is spread over 35 acres in Noida’s Sector 81. Built at a cost of ₹5,000 crore, the facility can produce 12 crore mobile phones every year.
9. Martin Schwenk named new MD and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India
Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz announced the appointment of Martin Schwenk as the new MD and CEO for Mercedes-Benz India with effect from November 1. Schwenk will replace Roland Folger, who will assume a new position for Mercedes-Benz’s Thailand and Vietnam markets. Schwenk is currently the CFO of Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co. in China.
10. Indian goalkeeper, Sreejesh is to lead Indian Hockey Team at Asian games 2018
Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will lead the 18 member Indian men’s hockey squad and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam will serve as his deputy in the 18th Asian Games. It will begin in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia in August 2018.
Coach – Harendra Singh
Captain – PR Sreejesh
Deputy Captain – Chinglensana Singh Kangujam
12. India to hold annual Delhi dialogue with ASEAN leaders in July
India will hold another round of Delhi Dialogue with ASEAN leaders on 19th and 20th July 2018. The dialogue is an important platform for engagement with ASEAN on political, security and economic issues. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will chair the ministerial session on July 19.
This will be the 10th round of Delhi Dialogue which has been held annually since 2009. Economic ties between India and ASEAN will again be under focus as ASEAN is looking at India to conclude negotiations soon for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. The RCEP aims at liberalizing norms for trade in goods and services and boost investment among 16-member countries.
13. The English patient by Michael Ondaatje won the Golden Man Booker International prize 2018
Michael Ondaatje’s best selling novel ‘The English Patient’ has been crowned as the winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize at the Southbank Centre in London. The prize was instituted as part of celebrations to mark the Booker’s having completed 50 years.
The novel move between large themes of war, loyalty, love. It is set, during World War II, about Hana, a nurse, who tends to a horribly burned man who finds himself in an Italian villa with three other unlikely characters. It was picked as the winner by a public poll from a shortlist of five books.
14. RBI cancelled licence of Alwar Urban Co operative Bank
Alwar Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., Alwar, Rajasthan is prohibited from conducting the business of ‘banking’ which includes acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits.
On liquidation, every depositor is entitled to repayment of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of Rs 1,00,000 from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
15. HRD Minister inaugurated 17th World Sanskrit Conference in Canada
Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the 17th World Sanskrit Conference held at Vancouver, Canada, from July 9-13, 2018.
There will be a special panel discussion on topics such as – History and Education of Women in Vedic Literature, Sanskrit Buddhist Manus, Mimamsa Beyond the Yagasala, the Yuktidipika forging a place for Sankhya, introducing Bhagavata Purana Commentaries and research on the Gargiyajyotisa.
The World Sanskrit Conference is being held in various countries across the globe once in every three years and so far it has been held thrice in India.
16. Muthoot Pappachan Group appoints Vidya Balan as its brand ambassador
The Muthoot Pappachan Group, which is mainly into the financial services business, has appointed film actress Vidya Balan as brand ambassador for two years and unveiled a new corporate identity.
Muthoot Pappachan Group is into two-wheeler finance, micro-finance, affordable housing finance, health, life and general insurance, precious metals, automotive, realty, hospitality and IT businesses, among others.
Muthoot Pappachan Group CMD – Thomas John Muthoot
17. Fungus causing fatal skin disease to frogs in western ghats
‘Scientific Reports’ revealed that the chytrid fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes the infectious and fatal skin disease chytridiomycosis, is present in frogs across the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Himalaya, northeastern hill ranges, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Seven years ago, Indian scientists discovered a dreaded chytrid fungus, which is notorious for causing frog declines and extinctions worldwide, in the Western Ghats. Now, a team has detected that the pathogen is spread in all major biodiversity hotspots in India.
18. NITI Aayog proposed National Health stack
NITI Aayog has disclosed the blueprint of National Health Stack (NHS), a shared digital healthcare infrastructure usable by both the Centre and states across public and private sectors. The aim is to implement the scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ and other public healthcare programmes in the country.
It also includes electronic health registries, coverage and claims platform, digital health ID cards, federated personal health records (PHR) framework and the National Health Analytics Framework.
Other key benefits of NHS are:
♦ It allows states to incorporate the horizontal and vertical expansion of the scheme,
♦ Avoids duplication of efforts
♦ Enables ease of adoption for those without systems or with dysfunctional systems in place,
♦ To continue using their own state system while integrating with Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (RSSM) via Application Programming Interface (APIs).
NITI Aayog Chairman: PM Narendra Modi
CEO: Amitabh Kant
19. Himachal Pradesh banned use of thermocol cutlery
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had announced the ban on the World Environment Day on June 5, but it was observed that it was still in use.
The Himachal Pradesh government recently issued fresh notification banning use of thermocol cutlery including cups, plates, glasses, spoons or any other item in the state. The state government has set a deadline of three months for manufacturers to dispose of their stocks.
20. India and South Korea signed 5 MoUs in the field of Science & Technology
India signed 5 MoUs with South Korea in the field of Science and Technology in New Delhi. Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and his South Korean counterpart Mr. You Young Min signed three MoUs for (i) Programme of Cooperation 2018-21; (ii) Establishment of Future Strategy Group; (iii) Cooperation in Biotechnology & Bioeconomy.
Two other MoUs were signed between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Korean National Research Council for Science and Technology, IIT Mumbai, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, to further accelerate future-oriented cooperation.
The MoUs were signed at the conclusion of the 4th India-Korea Science & Technology Ministers Steering Committee Meeting.
21. Professor Sandeep Sancheti takes charge as president of AIU
Dr. Sandeep Sancheti, Vice Chancellor of SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST) has assumed charge as the 97th President of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi.
The AIU, which was founded in 1925 and initially known as the Inter-University Board of India, has currently more than 720 members represented by Vice Chancellors. The AIU facilitates coordination and mutual consultation among Universities as well as acting as a liaison with Central and State governments.
The AIU, besides promoting academic excellence nationally and internationally is also a body that is very much involved in cultural and sporting activities in the higher education domain.
22. Satyarup Siddhanta becomes second Indian to climb world’s highest volcano
Satyarup Siddhanta has become the second Indian mountaineer after Malli Mastan Babu to climb Mt Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano in the world.
Satyarup is also set to be the first Indian to climb Mt Sidley, the highest volcano of Antarctica.
Mount Ojos del Salado is a stratovolcano (a volcano built up of alternate layers of lava and ash) in the Andes on the Argentina-Chile border and the highest active volcano in the world at 6,893 metres (22,615 ft).
23. David Davis resigns as Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab appointed as new Brexit Secretary
British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Dominic Raab as the new Brexit Secretary after his predecessor “David Davis” quit in protest at the government’s plans for a close trading relationship with the European Union.
Boris Johnson resigned as UK’s Foreign Secretary amid a growing political crisis over UK’s Brexit strategy. His resignation came 30 minutes before UK PM Theresa May addressed the Parliament about her new Brexit plan.
The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, but the two sides have yet to agree how trade will work between the UK and the EU afterwards.
24. The telecommunication ministry approved merging of Idea and Vodafone
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular which will create the country’s largest mobile services operator.
The department has asked Idea Cellular to pay Rs. 3,926 crore in cash for Vodafone’s spectrum and furnish a bank guarantee of Rs. 3,342 crore.
The combined operations of Idea and Vodafone will create the country’s largest telecom operator worth more than over Rs. 1.5 lakh crore, with a 35% market share and a subscriber base of about 430 million.
25. Gujarat Government grants religious minority status to Jews
The Government of Gujarat has granted minority status to followers of Judaism in the state, thus becoming the third state in India to do so. The notification was issued by the state’s Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. Gujarat has a very small Jewish community with approximately 170 members, mostly located in Ahmedabad. The city is home to the only synagogue in the state, the Magen Abraham Synagogue that was built in 1934.
Gujarat is now the third state in India to have granted minority status for Jews, following Maharashtra and West Bengal. West Bengal had granted the status over a decade ago under the erstwhile Communist government. The state had a Jewish population of 43 at that time. Maharashtra had accorded minority status for Jews in 2017, prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Israel. The state is home to over 2,000 Jews, making it the largest for a state.
26. First India Tourism Mart to be held in New Delhi in September 2018
The Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, K. J. Alphons announced that the Tourism Ministry in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with the support of State /UT Governments will organize the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM) from 16th to 18th September, 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The objective of the event is to create an annual Global Tourism Mart for India in line with major international travel marts being held in countries across the world. The Mart will provide a platform for all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries to interact and transact business opportunities.
27. ADB approves Lining Project of Son Canal in Bihar
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 503-million lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad-Bhojpur region of Bihar which would benefit the agriculture sector immensely in the region. The estimated cost of this project is USD 503 million (Rs 3272.49 crore) out of which USD 352 million is being provided by ADB. This project will bring immense benefits to the agriculture sector of Shahabad – Bhojpur region of Bihar.