Latest Current Affairs – July 31 2018
1. Delhi govt approves proposal to delink Aadhaar from pensions
Delhi government approved a proposal to delink Aadhaar number and Aadhaar-linked bank accounts for availing old age, disability and widow pensions. It will pay at old rates all the pensions halted due to lack of Aadhaar. Further, increased pension will be provided with effect from April 2018 to all beneficiaries who’re getting pension on old rates, said a government statement.
2. France bans smartphones in schools
French lawmakers passed a law banning smartphones, tablets and other internet-enabled devices in schools. The new rules apply to pupils aged between three and 15 years and mandate that the devices must be turned off or left at home. However, the law provides exceptions for educational use, extra-curricular activities and for students with disabilities.
3. Russia establishes new Army wing to promote patriotism
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree establishing a new directorate in the Russian Army to promote patriotism. Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov, a Russian Army veteran who previously served in the country’s conflict in Syria, will head the directorate. A similar directorate existed in the Soviet Army to ensure that the soldiers remained loyal to then-ruling Communist party.
4. OnePlus beats Apple, Samsung to become top premium smartphone brand
OnePlus has emerged as the market leader in the premium segment of smartphones in India beating Samsung and Apple in the last quarter, according to a report. It reached over 40% market share in the premium segment (₹30,000-plus) in the April-June quarter. Samsung was pushed to the second spot with 35% share while Apple was third with around 14% share.
5. Scientists find radioactive molecule in space for 1st time
Astronomers have detected the first radioactive molecule in space, believed to be from a stellar explosion that was visible in the 17th century by the naked eye. The molecule, Aluminium monofluoride, is made of Aluminium-26, a radioactive isotope of aluminium. The explosion had resulted from the merger of two stars, creating a red nova, a new class of eruptive stars.
6. China launches satellite to monitor Belt and Road Initiative
China launched an optical remote sensing satellite which will be used to monitor its Belt and Road Initiative. The Gaofen-11 satellite was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre as part of the high-resolution Earth observation project. The satellite can be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief, the state media reported.
7. Jio to invest ₹50,000 crore to build JioGigaFiber business
India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio will spend about ₹50,000 crore in the next six to eight quarters to build its broadband business JioGigaFiber. Jio plans to offer the service in at least 1,100 cities and towns and had invited registrations from August 15. It is targeting 5 crore JioGigaFiber home customers and 3 crore small merchants and shopkeepers.
8. Chhattisgarh CM launched Mobile Distribution Scheme Mobile Tihar
Actress Kangana Ranaut and Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh launched a smartphone distribution scheme called ‘Mobile Tihar’ under Sanchar Kranti Yojana.
The scheme includes distribution of smartphones to 45 lakh women and 5 lakh children and setting up of 556 new mobile towers. The Chhattisgarh government is working towards improving network connectivity and empowering youth with smartphones.
9. Rajasthan signed MoU for the first Cow Sanctuary in State
Rajasthan Government signed a MoU with a private trust Sohanlalji Buladeviji Ojha Gaushala Samiti to build its first ‘Cow Sanctuary’, a shelter for 10000 cows. The cow sanctuary will be spread over an area of more than 220 hectares in Bikaner district. This will be the first cow sanctuary in Rajasthan and will be situated in Bikaner’s Napasar.
10. Seema Nanda has been appointed as the CEO of DNC
Indian American Seema Nanda has been appointed as CEO of the opposition Democratic National Committee. She vowed to fight for the “Soul of the country” and help elect Democrats in every corner of the United States. She is the first Indian American ever to be the CEO of either the DNC or the Republican National Committee.
11. NASA’s TESS started its planet searching operation
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), the newest planet hunter, has started its search for planets around nearby stars. TESS was launched in April 2018. It began its science operations on July 25.
It is expected to transmit its first series of science data back to Earth in August. The mission will last for the next two years monitoring the nearest and brightest stars for periodic dips in their light. These events, called transits, suggest that a planet may be passing in front of its star. It is expected that thousands of planets using this method can be found and some of which could potentially support life.
12. Third BRICS Film Festival concluded: Complete List of Indian Winners
Third BRICS Film Festival took place in Durban, South Africa, along with the International Durban Film Festival (DIFF). The last day of the festival (27th July) was celebrated as India Country Day, followed by Awards and Closing Ceremony.
The film festival is aimed at celebrating world-class film productions from the BRICS nations with the objective of inspiring more collaboration from these nations.
Awards won by Indian films in the 3rd BRICS Film Festival, Durban, South Africa:
1. Best Actress: Bhanita Das, Village Rockstars,
2. Best Film: Newton by Amit Masurkar,
3. Special Jury Award: Village Rockstars by Rima Das.
13. BEML agreed to ally with HEC agree for mining equipment
Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd. (HEC) to manufacture and market heavy engineering and mining equipment. The MoU was signed in the presence of Coal India Ltd. Chairman Anil Kumar Jha.
It is aimed at countering competition from MultiNational Companies (MNC) and resisting the entry of other global players for the supply of equipment like rope shovels and walking draglines. This agreement will also extend to installation, commissioning and after-sales support for the mining products.
14. Dustin Johnson won the Canadian Open 2018
Dustin Johnson, an American professional golfer, won the Canadian Open title. This is his third Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) victory in 2018. This win is the 19th title of his career.
15. First Nepal-India Think Tank Summit Began in Kathmandu
The Think Tank summit is organized by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs and Nehru Memorial Museum Library. The main objective of the summit is to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Nepal through multi-faceted collaboration among think-tanks in both the countries.
There are about four sessions and four themes are given below.
1st session- Building innovative cooperation between Indo-Nepal think tanks,
2nd session- Bolstering bilateral economic ties for the shared prosperity,
3rd session- Managing security dilemma,
4th session- Redefining Nepal-India relations in the 21st century.
16. Mohun Bagan Ratna Conferred On Pradip Chowdhury
Mohun Bagan ‘Ratna’, the highest honor of Mohun Bagan club was awarded to former India international Pradip Chowdhury at its foundation day programme.
Pradip Chowdhury is a former Mohun Bagan captain. He is the 18th recipient of Mohun Bagan ‘Ratna’ award. This award was first given to Sailen Manna in 2001.
Other awardees are:
1. Goalkeeper Shilton Paul– Best Footballer for the year 2017-18,
2. Sudip Chatterjee– Best Cricketer,
3. Sourav Das– Best Youth Footballer Player,
4. Special award – Rahim Ali for his performance in the U-17 World Cup.
17. Swelect introduced a technique to produce pure drinking water using sunlight and air
Swelect Energy Systems Ltd. has partnered with the U.S. based Zero Mass Water for the project ‘Source’, a hydro (solar) panel. It aims at providing pure drinking water using sunlight and air.
In this, the water vapour from the air will be drawn into the Source through fans. As the air flow passes through a condenser, the vapour will be collected. It then flows into a reservoir where it is mineralised with calcium and magnesium. Water is pumped through a polishing cartridge before being delivered to a dispenser.
The cost of one panel is Rs.2 lakh. It can generate up to 5 litres of water/day depending on humidity and sunlight.
18. USFDA approved Aurobindo Pharma for generic anticoagulant injection
United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has approved Aurobindo Pharma Limited for the manufacturing and marketing of Bivalirudin injection with the strength of 250 mg/vial. It is used as an anticoagulant in patients with certain conditions.
The approved Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) is a generic equivalent to the reference listed drug product Angiomax injection of The Medicines Company. Aurobindo Pharma has a total of 381 ANDA approvals from the USFDA. The drug will be launched in the month of September.
19. Indian Railways launches Mission Satyanishtha
The Indian Railways launched ‘Mission Satyanishtha’ and a programme on Ethics in Public Governance, in a first-of-its-kind event, at a day-long function held at National Rail Museum, New Delhi.
Indian Railways Minister Piyush goyal administered the oath to the officers and supervisors at the programme. The first-of-its-kind event was inaugurated by Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board.
The Satyanishtha mission aims to sensitize all railway employees about the need to adhere to good ethics and to maintain high standards of integrity at work.
20. ONGC conferred with INFRA Icon Award
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was awarded the INFRA Icon Award in the ‘Global Energy’ category at the mid-day INFRA Icons Awards 2018, in Mumbai. The award was given away by Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Pravin Darare.
The theme of the event was:‘Smart cities envisages to take infrastructure development to a next level’.
ONGC received this award as a recognition of its valuable contribution in upgrading India as a whole. It aims to bring a change with trendsetters related to the infrastructure of India.