Latest Current Affairs – July 25 & 26 2018
1. Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill passed in Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha has passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, which empowers authorities to confiscate the assets of economic offenders who flee the country. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on July 19. The bill proposes the formation of a special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to declare a person a fugitive economic offender.
2. FB to open startup incubator in China despite website ban
Facebook has obtained a licence to set up a startup incubator in China despite its website being banned in the country since 2009. The $30-million subsidiary will be located in Hangzhou city, to reportedly make small investments and give advice to local businesses. It is the first time Facebook got its name into the country after China blocked the platform.
3. Regulator asks J&J to reveal powder ingredients: Report
India’s drug regulator Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has reportedly asked Johnson and Johnson (J&J) to reveal the composition of its talcum powder. The move comes after J&J’s US parent was ordered to pay $4.7 billion ?on claims that asbestos in its powder caused ovarian cancer. Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral composed of silicon, magnesium and oxygen.
4. Mars to be closest to Earth in 15 years on July 31: NASA
Mars will appear brightest from July 27 to July 30 and make its closest approach to the Earth on July 31, NASA said. At a distance of 57.6 million km, it will be the closest since 2003. In 2003, Mars was the closest in nearly 60,000 years, at 55.7 million km, which won’t be repeated until the year 2287.
5. NCW recommends abolishing practice of confession in churches
National Commission of Women (NCW) has recommended abolishing the practice of confessions in churches as it can lead to blackmailing of women. “The priests pressure women into telling their secrets,” said the NCW chairperson. This comes amid the recent case wherein five priests of a Kerala church were accused of using a woman’s confession to sexually abuse her for years.
6. PTI chief Imran Khan declares victory in Pakistan elections
After votes in 49% polling stations were counted, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan declared his party’s victory in the Pakistan general elections. “I thank God. After 22 years of struggle, my prayers have been answered,” said Khan, who is expected to be the country’s Prime Minister. He also said he wants to fix Pakistan’s relations with India.
7. Man who inspired 3 Idiots’ Rancho wins Ramon Magsaysay award
Indian innovator Sonam Wangchuk, who was the inspiration for the character Rancho in the movie ‘3 Idiots’, has been awarded the 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Award for “harnessing nature, culture and education for community progress”. Dr Bharat Vatwani, the other Indian to be awarded the prize this year, was honoured for “restoring health and dignity to troubled lives”.
8. Lok Sabha passes anti-human trafficking bill
Lok Sabha passed the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018. The legislation calls for punishment ranging from 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of not less than ₹1 lakh to offenders. “Bill isn’t intended to harass those voluntarily in the profession…it has a compassionate view of sex racket victims,” said Union Minister Maneka Gandhi.
9. New Zealand demands Australia to change its flag
As the Flag of New Zealand looks similar to that of Australia, Acting New Zealand PM Winston Peters is demanding Australia to change their flag. Notably, the New Zealand flag was adopted 52 years before the Australian flag and was adopted in 1902, replacing the union jack. The Australian flag was adopted in 1954, after going through three previous iterations since 1901. Both the Australian and New Zealand flags are based on the British blue ensign.
10. Tata AIA Life appointed Rishi Srivastava as CEO & MD
Srivastava will take over from current chief executive officer Naveen Tahilyani who takes over as chief executive officer, group partnership distribution, AIA Group, Hong Kong. His appointment as CEO & MD of Tata AIA Life Limited is subject to regulatory approval from insurance regulator IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India).
11. Sitamarhi becomes 1st ODF district in Bihar
Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Construction of over two lakh toilets in the last two months ensured that Sitamarhi became the first open defecation free (ODF) district in Bihar. Sitamarhi became the 416th ODF district in India. The district administration disbursed Rs 12,000 per toilet to 50,000 beneficiary households on July 21. Presently, Bihar needs to construct another 6 lakh toilets across its 37 remaining districts.
12. Michael Ondaatje again named in Man Booker Prize list
Sri Lankan-born Canadian author Michael Ondaatje has again made the Man Booker Prize list with his latest novel ”Warlight”, which tells the story of two orphans in London in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Ondaatje’s “The English Patient,” which won the Booker in 1992, was named winner of the Golden Man Booker winner on July 8, a special award to mark the Booker’s 50th anniversary. 2018 Man Booker Prize includes six U.K. writers, three from the United States, and two each from Canada and Ireland.
13. Three Indian States launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 (SSG-2018), which was announced by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on July 13, 2018.
Under the SSG 2018, an independent survey agency will conduct survey in all districts from August 1 – 31, 2018 on the basis of sanitation (Swachhata) parameters. The top performing states and districts would be awarded on October 2, 2018, ie., birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 6980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered.
14. Women and Child Development Ministry launches ‘Childline1098’ Contest
To mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, Women and Child Development Ministry has invited people to send logo and tagline for ‘Childline 1098’, which is India’s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance. At present, Childline 1098 is operational at 450 locations, including 76 key railway stations, across India. Union Minister of Women and Child Development is Maneka Gandhi.
15. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won 2018 German Grand Prix
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won the 2018 German Grand Prix, a race that Sebastian Vettel should have actually won. Hamilton finished 4.5 seconds ahead of Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas (who secured 2nd spot), and 6.7 clear of Ferrari’s third-placed Kimi Raikkonen.
16. Oxigen announces a Strategic Partnership With Fincare Small Finance Bank
Oxigen and Fincare Small Finance Bank signed an agreement to roll out the Branchless Banking services using Oxigen flagship Point of Sale device called the Oxigen Micro ATM Super PoS. The event hosted by Brand Ambassador Grand Master Viswanathan Anand. Oxigen has been marching forward on its financial inclusion agenda to offer Branchless banking services to India’s rural unbanked/underbanked segments.
17. Thaawar Chand Gehlot attended Global Disability Summit 2018 In London
Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment attended the Global Disability Summit held in London, UK. The main motto of the Conference is to firm up the commitments of the country leaders towards the cause of persons with disabilities. The Global leaders expressed their commitments towards elimination stigma and discrimination, promoting inclusive education, economic empowerment, technology and innovation in assistive devices, data desegregation.
18. Odisha Government launches Green Mahanadi Mission
Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Green Mahanadi Mission’. The CM launched the mission by planting a sapling on the bank of river Mahanadi during his visit to Boudh and Subarnapur districts in western Odisha.
The ‘Green Mahanadi Mission’ is a plantation drive under which 2 crore saplings will be planted along the Mahanadi river and its tributaries. The main objective of the mission is to stop soil erosion on river banks and recharge the groundwater reserve.
19. West Bengal passes resolution to change name of state to ‘Bangla’
The ruling Trinamool Congress government placed a proposal in the state assembly to change the name of West Bengal to “Bangla” in all languages. The proposal will now be sent to the Home Ministry for approval, and the name of the state will be changed only if the Ministry approves it.
On August 29, 2016, the state Assembly had passed a resolution to change the name of West Bengal to ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi. The Union ministry of home affairs rejected the proposal saying that a state cannot have three different names in three different languages.
20. Karnataka became India’s Top State in producing Renewable Energy
According to the report of ‘The Institute For Energy Economics and Financial Analysis’ (IEEFA), Karnataka has emerged as the leading state for generating renewable energy in India this year, with a total installed capacity of 12.3 gigawatts (GW), as of March 2018.
Tamil Nadu ranks second in producing Renewable Energy. The world’s largest solar park was set up at an investment of Rs 16,500 crore at Pavagada in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district. This 2,000 MW park is named as ‘Shakti Sthala’.
21. Ireland to hold international conference of female parliamentarians
Named “The International Congress of Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses” will be held at Dublin Castle on September 9-10 and the event will be attended by an estimated 300 delegates from over 27 countries. Thi conference is organised by the Irish Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (IWPC), a cross-party forum for female parliamentarians within the Irish parliament.
22. Ramachandra Guha wrote a new book on Mahatma Gandhi
A book titled “Gandhi: The years that changed the world (1914-1948)” has been written by Ramachandra Guha. This book will be released in September 2018 and narrates the story of Gandhi’s life, from his departure from South Africa to his assassination in 1948.
This book will be will be published by Penguin Random House India. The author has written several bestselling books like “India After Gandhi” and “Gandhi Before India”.
23. Indian Air Force to participated In Australias Pitch Black Exercise
An Indian Air Force contingent comprising of four Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft landed at Darwin Air Force Base, Australia for participating in the Exercise Pitch Black-2018. This is the first time that an Indian Air Force contingent is participating in this multinational air exercise in Australia. The Indian Air Force contingent consists of 145 personnel. The contingent will undertake simulated air combat exercises in a controlled environment.
24. National Sports Day has been postponed to September 25, 2018
The Sports Ministry has postponed the National Sports Day to September 25, 2018. It has also announced that the outstanding performances of players at the Asian games could be considered for the National Sports Awards.
Every year, the Sports Day is traditionally celebrated on August 29. But this year, with the Asian Games going on, the ministry has decided to postpone the event this time. The Asian Games are scheduled from August 18-September 2. Hence the National Sports Day will be held on September 25.