CURRENT AFFAIRS July Week I
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- Noted scientist MV Dhekane has assumed the office of Director, ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU) and Department of Space. Dhekane, who is the seventh director of IISU, took charge on July 1.
- RBI has appointed SudarshanSen as an Executive Director in place of NS Vishwanathan, who has been elevated as Deputy Governor at the central bank.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
- Indian-Americans, including Google CEO Sunder Pichai, are among 42 US nationals to be honoured with this year’s prestigious “Great Immigrants: The Pride of America” award for their inspiring professional accomplishments.
BANKING AND FINANCE
- The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), launched three digital initiatives and indicated that it may have to prune its branch network once its associates are merged.
- SBI made its debut on social media banking by launching its platform called “Mingle” through which its customers can transact using Facebookand Twitter.
- Another initiative is a tie-up with Flipkartthrough which the bank will extend loans to select customers for purchases above 5,000. SBI said that at present around one million customers are eligible for such a loan.
- SBI Digital Villageswill transform the selected villages into safe, healthy and vibrant digital centers. A total of 21 villages, which have moved on to the digital platform, will be covered under the initiative.
- State Bank of India (SBI)and the World Bank have inked agreements for a $625 million (around Rs.4,200 crore) facility to support grid-connected rooftop solar programme (GRPV) in the country to generate 40Gw.
- Indiaand Cyprus have agreed to revise their tax treaty under which capital gains tax will be levied on sale of shares on investments made after April 1, 2017, thus bringing the island nation at par with Mauritius in terms of tax treatment on investments.
- AYouth Summit for the BRICS countries has begun in Guwahati with the theme ‘Youth as bridge for Intra-BRICS Exchanges‘.
- Farmers will get short-term crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at a lower interest rate of 7 per cent this fiscal with the government approving a 2 per cent interest subvention scheme.
- Government has set an agricultural credit target for banks at Rs 9 lakh crore for the current fiscal, up from Rs 8.5 lakh crore 2015-16.
- The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Mauritius. The MoU will encourage cooperation in the field of rural development and capacity building on the basis of equality and mutual benefit between both countries.
- The Union Cabinet has approved the revision of pension of BSNL pensioners and family pensioners, who retired prior to 10.06.2013 by allowing the benefit of merger of 50% DA/DR with Basic Pay/ Pension.
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a MoU between Indiaand Mozambique on Drug demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals and related matters.
- The Union Cabinet has approved a long-term contract by signing a MoU with Mozambique for import of pulses either through the private channels or Government-to-Government (G2G) sales through State Agencies nominated by the two countries.
- The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of revenue charged Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) post of Chief Works Manager (CWM)in the Mechanical Department of Diesel Component Factory, Dankuni on Eastern Railway
- The Union Cabinet has approved a National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. The Scheme has an outlay of 10,000 crorewith a target of 50 lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20. It provides for incentivizing employers to engage apprentices.
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 will facilitate the changing of the names of ‘Bombay High Court as Mumbai High Court’ and ‘Madras High Court as Chennai High Court’ respectively.
- Cabinet approved MoU between India and Tanzania in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy
- Cabinet approved to set up a Major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved increase in foreign investment from the current approved level of62% to 74%of the total paid up share capital of the Axis Bank on a fully fungible basis.
- India is rapidly moving into the mobile app age and is already the fourth-largest mobile app In total app downloads per year, only China, US, and Brazil are ahead of India.
- Government launched 231 ‘Clean Ganga’ projects of the NamamiGange Mission—India’s plan to clean up the Ganga river—the central government will launch over 200 projects worth 2000 croreunder the programme.
- E-commerce major Amazon Indiahas opened six new fulfillment centres across five cities, as it prepares for a spike in demand in the upcoming festival season.
- India has slipped two places to 91st positionon a global list of countries in terms of their readiness for transition to a digitized economy and society, while Singapore remains on top.
- ChristenedINS Tarasa, the last ship in the series of four Water Jet Fast Attack Crafts (WJFAC) built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) for the Indian Navy was launched.
- Regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI)has joined hands with Advertising Standard Council of India(ASCI) in its bid to check misleading advertisements in the food and beverages sector.
- India’s first integrated defence communication networkwas launched in New Delhi enabling the army, air force, navy and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process.
- The World Bank Groupsigned an agreement with the International Solar Alliance (ISA), consisting of 121 countries, led by India. It has committed to provide $1 billionsupport to Indian solar energy projects.
- The Ministry of External Affairssaid India abstained from the LGBT vote in the United Nations as the case is subjudice and the Supreme Court is yet to pronounce its verdict.
- The Indian Air Forcehas inducted the first squadron of the indigenously made Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas into its fleet. An induction ceremony to induct two Tejas aircrafts was held at the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bengaluru.
SNIPPETS FROM THE STATES
- Rajasthanhas become the first state in the country to introduce minimum wages for part time workers. The Labour Department has issued a notification.
- Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has inaugurated country’s first commercial dispute resolution centre and commercial court in the state capital. The commercial court is located in Naya Raipur area of the city.
- Kerala government has decided to ban ‘electronic cigarette’ in view of studies claiming that its use can cause various health issues, including cancer and heart ailments.
- A Rapid Rural Police Response Systemhas been launched across Punjab to ensure prompt and effective police response in the state’s over 12,000 villages.
- The search giant Google has acquired Paris-based Moodstocks to bolster the image recognition features on smartphones.
- The multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific Southern California 2016 has kicked off, occurring in and around Southern California through Aug. 4. RIMPAC SOCAL, helmed for the first time by Naval Surface Mine Warfare Development Center (SMWDC).
- China has hoisted the final piece into position on what will be the world’s largest radio telescope, which it will use to explore space and help in the hunt for extraterrestrial life.
- Icelandhas been named as the world’s safest vacation spot. Based on the Global Peace Index (GPI) ranking, The Institute for Economics and Peace charted the world’s safest destinations.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
- Online healthcare start-up 1mg Technologies Pvt. Ltd has acquired diagnostic labs aggregator Medd (HolaMed Healthcare Technologies Pvt. Ltd) in a move aimed at boosting its diagnostic footprint.
- Medd was co-founded by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay graduates Arpit Kothariand AnuragMundhada and Carnegie Mellon graduate Era Dwivedi in 2015.
- Noel Neill, the first actress to play Superman’s love interest, passed away at the age of 95.
- Former Madhya Pradesh cricketer Kapil Sethhas recently passed away.
- Eminent Marathi writer RC Dhere, known for his exhaustive research in folk literature and bhakti tradition ofMaharashtra, passed away.
- Isak Chisi Swu, founder of NSCN (IM) passed away.
- Elie Wiesel the Nobel peace laureate and author who fought for peace, human rights and simple human decency, has died at the age of 87.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- The US space agencyhas successfully put a new probe in orbit around Jupiter. TheJuno satellite, which left Earth five years ago, had to fire a rocket engine to slow its approach to the planet and get caught by its gravity.
- Three astronautsblasted off into the early morning sky in an upgraded Soyuz spacecraft from Russia’s Baikonurcosmodrome, heading towards the International Space Station.
- TRAI will soon start a consultation process to fix ‘quality of service’ rules for mobile data, including the average data speed for operators.
- Bengaluru para-swimmer NiranjanMukundan has won eight medals including3 gold medals, at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) U-23 World Games in Prague, Czech Republic.
- Indian Gymnast DipaKarmakarhas scripted history by becoming the first Indian to be named as ‘World Class Gymnast’ by the Federation International de Gymnastique (FIG). She is also the first ever Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games.
- SaiPraneethdefeated Lee Hyun II of Korea to clinch the Canada Open 2016 title at Calgary.
- Lewis Hamiltoncollided with Mercedes team-mate NicoRosberg on the last lap before passing him to win a thrilling Austrian Grand Prix.
- India will be hosting the world’s first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) ‘Super Fight League’ from August 26 to October 1.
- India’s largest food products marketing organization Amul has announced its sponsorship of the Indian contingent at the biggest multi-sport event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
- The South Asian Basketball Association (SABA)Zone Qualifying Round of the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 will be held from July 6 to 8 at the SreeKanteerava Indoor Stadium.
- The Argentina women’s team has claimed a record seventh Champions Trophy title 2016 defeated The Netherlands.
- Best player: Carla Rebecchi (ARG)
- Best junior player: Maria Granatto (ARG)
- Best goalkeeper: Joyce Sombroek (NED)
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