Current Affairs Daily Digest – July 14 & 15 2018
1. Mumbai-based automaker unveils India’s first hypercar ‘Shul’
Mumbai-based automaker Vazirani Automotive has unveiled India’s first turbine-electric hypercar called ‘Vazirani Shul’ at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car is essentially an all-wheel-drive with four individual motors for each wheel, hence enabling torque vectoring. However, the model is still at a conceptual stage and the company will not release it until the end of this year.
2. Iceland replaces US at UN Human Rights Council
Following the US administration’s decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last month, the UN General Assembly has elected Iceland to replace the US on the Geneva-based organisation. Iceland’s term begins immediately and it will serve until December 31, 2019. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had termed the UNHRC a “hypocritical and self-serving organisation”.
3. Scientist RA Mashelkar proposed as Jio Institute Chancellor
The Reliance Foundation has proposed the name of eminent scientist Raghunath A Mashelkar as the Chancellor of yet-to-be established Jio Institute, according to reports. Dipak C Jain, former director of Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in Bangkok, will serve as the Vice-Chancellor of the Institute, reports added. Mashelkar and Jain are members of the board at Reliance Industries.
4. Belgium defeat England to finish 3rd at 2018 FIFA World Cup
Belgium defeated England in the third-place playoff to finish third at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This is Belgium’s best-ever World Cup finish after having finished fourth in the 1986 edition of the quadrennial tournament. Further, this is the second time England have finished fourth at the World Cup after securing the position in 1990.
5. Kerber beats 7-time champ Serena to win maiden Wimbledon title
Former world number one Angelique Kerber defeated seven-time champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 in the women’s singles final to clinch her first-ever Wimbledon title. Overall, it was the 30-year-old’s third Grand Slam title after having won the Australian Open and US Open in 2016. Despite the defeat, 181st-ranked Serena will move 153 places to rank 28.
6. Dhoni fastest wicketkeeper-batsman to score 10,000 ODI runs
MS Dhoni has become the fastest wicketkeeper-batsman and third fastest Indian to score 10,000 runs in ODI cricket, achieving the feat in his 273rd innings during the second ODI against England. Overall, the 37-year-old is the fourth Indian after Sachin Tendulkar (259), Sourav Ganguly (263) and Rahul Dravid (287) to cross the 10,000-run mark in ODI cricket.
7. China, Pakistan open first land-based communication link
The first-ever land-based communication link between China and Pakistan was inaugurated. The Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable project includes an 820-kilometre underground cable that starts from Pakistan’s Rawalpindi and ends at Khunjerab bordering China and connects with optical fibre in the Chinese side. It is a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
8. South Africa unveils $330 mn telescope set to be world’s largest
South Africa has unveiled the 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope, slated to be the world’s largest and most powerful telescope on its completion in 2030. Built for $330 million, MeerKAT will be integrated into an array of 3,000 dishes spread in a square-kilometre area. It is said to have 50 times better resolution than NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope when fully operational.
9. Hima Das to be named Assam’s sports ambassador
Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that Indian sprinter Hima Das will be named the state’s sports ambassador after her 400m gold medal at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships. The Chief Minister also announced that Hima will also be felicitated at a state-level function where she will be given a cash reward.
10. India-Bangladesh signs Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his Bangladeshi counterpart have signed the Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018. Home minister announced the withdrawal of the existing e-token system for submission of Visa applications. The Minister along with his Bangladesh counterpart opened a new integrated state-of-the-art Indian Visa Application Centre at Jamuna Future Park in Dhaka, the largest Indian visa centre in the world.
11. India, Pak to be part of anti-terror SCO drill in Russia
Militaries of India and Pakistan will be part of a mega anti-terror drill in Russia next month which is being organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with an aim to expand cooperation among the member countries to deal with terrorism and extremism.
Around 200 Army and Air Force personnel from India will be participating in the exercise scheduled from August 20-29 at Chelyabinsk city in west-central Russia. The exercise will be joined by all SCO member countries including Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
12. Rishi Narain wins All India Seniors Golf Championship
Former Asian Games gold medallist Rishi Narain won the Indian Golf Union’s 48th annual All India Seniors Golf Championship in a sudden death shootout against thee-time senior winner Gangesh Khaitan. Cricket legend Kapil Dev finished in third place at the Jaypee Greens Golf Resort.
13. Book titled ‘Winning Like Sourav: Think & Succeed Like Ganguly’ released
This book is written by Abhirup Bhattacharya and has an interesting story about Sourav Ganguly gambling on young players like Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh to build the concept of ‘Team India’ and ‘Men in Blue’.
The author has previously wrote “Winning Like Virat: Think & Success Like Kohli”.
14. China, India signed a deal to reduce tariffs on Indian medicines, anti cancer drugs
Indian drugs, specially cancer curing medicines, are in big demand in China. About 4.3 million people are diagnosed with cancer annually in China, according to a report of the state-run China Central Television.
Beijing, which earlier announced a cut on import duties on over 8,500 Indian items, will relax taxes on more goods from India and other countries as its trade war with the US heats up.
15. T Latha appointed as new MD, CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank for three years
Dhanlaxmi Bank Limited has appointed T Latha as the Managing Director & CEO. She has taken over from G Sreeram, who has retired from the office on July 1, 2018, on completion of his tenure. Her appointment will be for a period of three years w.e.f July 2, 2018.
Latha has 35 years of banking experience with Punjab National Bank across a host of roles and responsibilities including Branch Management, Regional Management and National Level Credit Management handling a portfolio of around Rs 400 billion.
16. Scientists discover world’s oldest colours from Sahara desert in Africa
1.1 billion-year-old bright pink pigments extracted from rocks deep beneath the Sahara desert in Africa.
The pigments taken from marine black shales of the Taoudeni Basin in Mauritania, West Africa, were more than half a billion years older than previous pigment discoveries.
The fossils range from blood red to deep purple in their concentrated form, and bright pink when diluted.
17. Gujarat approved Rs 39 crore ‘Seema Darshan’ Project for infra development
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani gave in-principal approval for the project “Seema Darshan”, which is also referred as border tourism project at Nadabet near Suigam in Banaskantha district.
The approval was given at a review meeting held in Gandhinagar, which entails development of an exhibition hall and a parade ground with an amphitheatre for 5,000 people, under phase-2 of the project. The project will encourage local economic activity in the Rann of Kutchh region and in adjoining flamingo and wild ass sanctuaries.
18. HDFC securities enable MF transactions through Facebook messenger
A subsidiary of HDFC Bank, HDFC securities launched Mutual Funds (MF) transactional capabilities on Facebook Messenger through their virtual assistant, Arya. Arya also facilitates a quick overview of total portfolio holding, getting the latest stock quotes and opening an account.
19. Dipa Karmakar likely to be named Tripura’s brand ambassador
Ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who recently bagged the gold medal in the women’s vault event at the Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Mersin in Turkey, is likely to become brand ambassador of Tripura. The 24-year-old Dipa was born in Tripura Capital, Agartala and had finished fourth in Rio Olympics in 2016.
She is the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics. For her commendable performance in Rio Olympics 2016, the Government of India conferred upon her the Khel Ratna award in August 2016.
20. TCA Raghavan is appointed Director-General of ICWA
Dr. T.C.A. Raghavan is appointed as the Director General (DG), ex officio member-Secretary of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) by Vice President of India and President of ICWA, M. Venkaiah Naidu.
The post of DG is equivalent to the rank of Secretary to Government of India. The decision was taken in the meetings of the Governing Body and Governing Council of the ICWA.
Dr. T.C.A. Raghavan has served as India’s High Commissioner to Islamabad and Singapore and has served in India’s missions at London, Thimphu, and Kuwait.
21. Dainik Bhaskar Group Editor Kalpesh Yagnik passed away
Kalpesh Yagnik, the Group Editor of media house Dainik Bhaskar passed away at the age of 55 on 12th July 2018 in Indore. Yagnik suffered a heart attack while he was working in his office. Yagnik had joined the Dainik Bhaskar group in 1998, after working at the Free Press Journal.
Yagnik was born on June 21, 1963. He joined Dainik Bhaskar in 1998 before which he also worked at Free Press Journal. He was a B. Com graduate.
22. UNSC adopts Resolution 2428 to impose arms embargo on South Sudan
The Security Council has adopted a resolution to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan in addition to current sanctions, till May 31, 2019. Resolution 2428 won nine votes in favor, the minimum requirement for adoption. The remaining six members of the Security Council — Bolivia, China, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Russia — abstained. To be adopted, a Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favor and no veto from any of the five permanent members of the council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Resolution 2428 renews a travel ban and asset freeze against designated individuals and entities till May 31, 2019. It also renews the mandate of the Panel of Experts, who assist the work of the sanctions committee, until July 1, 2019.
23. UN Secretary General sets up panel on digital cooperation to tackle cybersecurity threats
UN chief Antonio Guterres has established a first-of-its-kind panel on digital cooperation aimed at addressing concerns of cybersecurity threats and rise in hate speech and named senior Indian diplomat Amandeep Singh Gill as the executive director of the panel’s secretariat.
The high-level panel on digital cooperation will be co-chaired by US philanthropist Melinda Gates and China-based Alibaba founder Jack Ma. It will have 20 members in total and include leaders from industry, civil society and academia.
Guterres has named Gill as the executive director of the panel’s secretariat along with former diplomat Jovan Kurbalija. Gill is India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1992 and has served at the Indian missions in Tehran, Colombo and Geneva.
24. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launches Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launches the Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 (SSG 2018). An independent survey agency will conduct the survey in all districts from 1st to 31st August 2018, and the results will be announced in the form of a ranking of all districts and states on the basis of quantitative and qualitative sanitation (Swachhata) parameters. The top performing states and districts are expected to be awarded on 2nd October 2018.
The objective of SSG 2018 is to undertake a ranking of states and districts on the basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative SBM-G parameters. In the process, through a countrywide communication campaign, rural communities will be engaged in the improvement of the sanitation and cleanliness of their surrounding areas.