Latest Current Affairs – July 12 & 13 2018
1. India to buy S-400 missile from Russia despite US sanctions
India will buy the Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile despite US sanctions on military transactions with Russia, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. She said the law under which the US has imposed sanctions is an American law and not a UN law. India has conveyed its position on the matter to the US, she added.
2. India, US to hold their first-ever 2+2 talks in September
India and US will hold their first-ever 2+2 dialogue in the first week of September, Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The US had earlier postponed the talks as Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was due to travel to North Korea. The talks will feature India’s Ministers for External Affairs and Defence and the US Secretaries of State and Defence.
3. Haryana Governor Solanki given additional charge of Himachal Pradesh
Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki has been given the additional charge as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh during the absence of incumbent Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat. Solanki has previously served two terms as a member of the Rajya Sabha and has been a member of various Parliamentary committees, including the Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution.
4. Mukesh Ambani dethrones Alibaba’s Jack Ma as Asia’s richest person
Reliance Industries Chairman and India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani dethroned Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba’s Co-founder Jack Ma to become Asia’s richest person as RIL shares hit an all-time high. Ambani’s net worth now stands at $44.3 billion as compared to Jack Ma’s $44 billion wealth, according to Bloomberg. Ambani has added $4 billion to his wealth this year.
5. Hima wins India its first track gold at World Junior C’ships
Hima Das won the women’s 400m event at the IAAF World Junior Championships to become the first-ever Indian to clinch track gold in a world championship across all age groups. The 18-year-old clocked 51.46 seconds to claim the first position. Das had clocked an Indian U-20 record of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth in 2018 CWG 400m final.
6. Spiritual leader Dada Vaswani passed away
Dada JP Vaswani, spiritual leader and head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, passed away at the age of 99. Vaswani had been in the hospital for a few days but had been discharged. Known for promoting vegetarianism, he was reportedly close to PM Narendra Modi.
7. Incomplete education of girls costs $15-30 tn: World Bank
Failing to let girls complete 12 years of education cost countries between $15-30 trillion in lost lifetime productivity and earnings, according to a World Bank report. About 13.2 crore girls worldwide aged between 6 and 17 don’t attend school, it said. The report added women who have a secondary education earn almost twice as much as those with no education.
8. India joins European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
India formally joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), becoming the London-based multilateral lender’s 69th member. The membership will help Indian companies undertake joint investments in regions in which the EBRD operates. EBRD, whose core operations pertain to the private sector, has worked with Indian companies including Tata group and Jindal group.
9. Mexican scientists develop hybrid chayote fruit to battle cancer
Researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) developed a hybrid chayote fruit from two wild Mexican species, which could be used to battle cancer. The raw extract of this fruit is as effective as Cytarabine, a medication used to treat some types of cancer.
According to figures from the World Health Organization, cancer is the second cause of death in the world, killing nearly 9 million people a year.
10. Anish and Manu won gold in shooting
In the 28th Meeting of Shooting Hopes international championship, Anish Bhanwala won in junior men’s 25m rapid fire pistol and Manu Bhaker won the junior women’s 10m air pistol.
11. Ravi Mehrotra receives lifetime achievement award at Seatrade 30th Anniversary
Dr Ravi Mehrotra CBE, Chairman of Foresight Group International Ltd., was presented with a lifetime achievement award by Chris Hayman (Chairman, Seatrade) at the Seatrade 30th Anniversary Award Ceremony held at the Landmark, London. The award recognises recipients who have made a significant and lasting contribution to shipping and the maritime industry.
12. Indian Army signed MoU with SBI on the Defence Salary Package
Defence Salary Package will include free personal accident death, free permanent total disability cover and other accidental benefits to the deceased soldier and family. The first MoU between SBI and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was renewed in February 2015. The renewed MoU will be valid till January 3, 2019.
13. Maharashtra will launch ‘One farmer one transformer’ scheme from 15th August
In order to reduce electricity losses, the Maharashtra government will launch a new scheme allocating “one transformer per farmer”.
Two lakh farmers will be given electricity connection for high voltage distribution line which will ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Farmers who lose their cattle in attack by wild animals will now get Rs 40,000, up from Rs 25,000 earlier. Rs 2 lakh hike in the compensation given to the kin of people killed in an attack by wild animals was announced. Each affected family will now get Rs 10 lakh instead of Rs 8 lakh earlier.
14. Aurobindo Pharma gets USFDA approval for manufacturing Azithromycin tablets
Aurobindo Pharma, a drug firm, has received its final approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to manufacture and market Azithromycin tablets, in strengths of 250 mg and 500 mg, which is used for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate infections, in the US market.
The company said the product would be introduced this month. The product has an estimated market size of USD 132 million for the 12 months ended May 2018. The tablets are an AB-rated generic equivalent of Pfizer Inc’s Zithromax tablet.
15. India and UK signed an agreement on exchange of experience by legal professionals
India and the United Kingdom signed an agreement on the exchange of experience by legal professionals and government functionaries for resolution of disputes before various courts and tribunals. The agreement was signed by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and UK’s Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke in London.
The MoU sought to enhance bilateral cooperation in legal affairs which would provide a framework for promoting greater cooperation between the judicial and legal professionals in both countries through the exchange of expertise and training. The MoU was cleared by the Union Cabinet.
16. Government sets up task force on ways to reduce import
The government has set up a high-level task force under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha to identify various items and policy interventions to reduce dependence on import. The task force includes secretaries from departments of commerce, industrial policy and promotion, skill development, revenue, defence production, steel, petroleum, electronics and telecommunications.
The move assumes significance as India is heavily dependent on imports of several items such as oil, electronic hardware, machinery, ingredients for pharmaceuticals, gold and chemicals. On an average, India’s imports stand at around $450 billion per year.
17. IR-BMS: Indian Railways launches consolidated Bridge Management System
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal launched BMS for “meaningful assimilation, analysis and dissemination of information related to various activities” about its bridges. The web-based platform will show the bridge master data, works data, information regarding inspection/monitoring and maintenance of the bridges and other essentials. Goyal at the launch, also felicitated artists whose work at seven railway stations across the country won them the top prize in the national transporter’s in-house station beautification contest.
18. Dharohar Bhawan: PM Narendra Modi inaugurates new HQ building of Archaeological Survey of India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurated Dharohar Bhawan – the new Headquarters building of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The new Headquarters building of ASI has been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including energy efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting. It includes a Central Archaeological Library with a collection of about 1.5 lakh books and journals.