Current Affairs : 15th July 2016
Daily | Current Affair Updates | 5 Minute Read
A complete dose of current affairs for the whole day. Categories listed are given as below:
- Important Days
- Books & Authors
- Awards & Honours
- Business & Economy
- Science & Technology
— IMPORTANT DAYS —
World Youth Skills Day 2016 observed globally on July 15:
- The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) was observed globally with the theme Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment.
- On the occasion, United Nations organised the event facilitated by the UN Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi.
- The event was co-organized with the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka to the United Nations, UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
— NATIONAL —
President to inaugurate India Skills Competition:
- President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the first edition of India Skills Competition today, on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day in New Delhi. Skill India will be celebrating its first anniversary on the occasion.
- In order to select the best talent to represent India at IndiaSkills, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and National Skill Development Corporation India have completed more than 80 regional competitions in 24 skills and trades.
- The winners will qualify for the final selection round for participating in World Skills International Competition at Abu Dhabi 2017.
- Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship–Rajiv Pratap Rudy
DRDO test-fires India-made artillery gun system
- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the fully indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System.
- The armament system, expected to be ready for user trial by 2017, has a firing range of 40 km and features like high mobility, quick deployability, advanced communication system, automatic command, and night firing capability.
India ‘semi-transparent’ in 2016 real estate index:
- India has figured in the ‘Semi-Transparent’ category of the JLL Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2016.
- India’s tier-I cities were ranked 36th in the list of 109 countries, while the tier II and III cities were at 39th and 52nd positions, respectively.
- The report owed India’s “modest” performance to regulatory reforms and simplified procedures for acquiring land, among others.
Puducherry to get Rs.2k cr for infra development:
- Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said that Agence Française de Développement, a French public financial institution, will provide over Rs.2,000 crore for infrastructure development in the union territory.
- The amount will be made available to the Centre as a long-term loan, he said.
- Narayanasamy added France has offered to become a key partner in the Smart Cities project.
Government to give interest-free loans to IIT students:
- The government has approved a scheme that allows IIT students, whose annual household incomes are under Rs.9 lakh, to secure interest-free loans.
- The scheme will only cover tuition fee and the subvention of interest will be applicable for a maximum period of five years.
- Earlier, the annual fee for undergraduate IIT students had been increased from Rs.90,000 to Rs.2 lakh.
Government extends black money tax payment date:
- The government extended the deadline for payment of tax and penalty under the black money disclosure scheme to September 30, 2017.
- It allowed declarants to make the payment in three instalments and set deadlines for payment of the instalments.
- The government extended the previous deadline of November 30 this year following requests from various stakeholders.
Mizoram launches new state economic policy:
- The Mizoram government launched the New Economic Development Policy to boost the state’s economy and livelihood of the people.
- Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla announced that Rs.270 crore has been sanctioned for implementing the policy, which will be executed from this financial year.
- The CM also said that the policy will lead Mizoram from subsistence to market-based economy.
Delhi gets first 3D Zebra crossing:
- New Delhi got its first virtual 3D Zebra crossing at Rajaji Marg.
- A one-minute video shows the crossing, which is divided into two parts for opposing sides of traffic and appears to be elevated.
- Delhi Street Art developed the crossing in partnership with the NDMC, as part of a trial to see how it affects traffic.
India, ADB sign 100 Million US dollar loan agreement for Cauvery Delta project in Tamil Nadu:
- The Union Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 100 million US dollars loan agreement to strengthen key irrigation and drainage system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu.
- The financing will be used to strengthen embankments of six major irrigation water channels in the Vennar system and rehabilitate 13 irrigation pumping schemes.
WHO declares India as Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus free:
- The World Health Organization (WHO) declared India as Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus free. In this regard, WHO presented certificates to the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda.
- Previously in May 2016, WHO certified India yaws-free after a team of experts verified interruption of disease transmission in the country. India is the first country under the 2012 WHO neglected tropical diseases (NTD) roadmap to eliminate yaws.
- Yaws is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the skin, bones and cartilages.
Justice Shah headed SIT on black money recommends ban on cash transactions above 3 lakh rupees:
- The Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money submitted its fifth report to the apex court. The SIT was headed by retired Justice M B Shah.
The SIT in its fifth report recommended the following:
- Cash transactions: It has recommended ban on cash transactions above 3 lakh rupees in a day. It recommended enacting a law to declare such transactions as illegal and punishable.
- Cash holding: It also suggested capping the cash holding of an industry or individual at 15 lakh rupees. In case any person or industry required holding more cash, it may obtain necessary permission from the Commissioner of Income Tax of the area.
— INTERNATIONAL —
11th ASEM summit begins in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia:
- The eleventh edition of Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM11) or ASEM2016 began in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
- The theme of the Summit is ‘Partnership for the Future through Connectivity‘. World leaders including from the leaders of 51 member countries and the representatives of European Union and Asian are attending the two day summit.
- Indian delegation is led by Vice President Mohmmad Hamid Ansari.
- India’s agenda for the summit is to push the efforts to boost inter-continental connectivity.
China’s GDP grows by 6.7% in April-June quarter:
- China’s GDP registered a 6.7% year-on-year growth in the second quarter (April-June), unchanged from the previous three-month period.
- The latest quarterly growth figure is slightly more than the expected 6.6% growth, according to Reuters.
- However, the investment in fixed assets, which includes both infrastructure and manufacturing, grew at 9% in the first six months – the slowest since 2000.
Emergency in France extended by 3 more months:
- French President François Hollande announced the extension of a state of emergency in the country by another three months following an attack in Nice, in which a truck rammed into people, killing at least 84.
- The emergency was imposed after the Paris attacks in November 2015.
Mud City in Mali added to UNESCO endangered list:
- UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee added the Old Towns of Djenné in the African nation of Mali to the ‘List of World Heritage in Danger’.
- The committee said instability due to activities of Islamist militant groups has made implementation of protective measures difficult.
- The ‘Mud City’ has nearly 2,000 pre-Islamic era houses that have been inhabited since 250 BC.
US to offer Russia military coordination on Syria:
- According to reports, the United States will propose increasing military cooperation and intelligence sharing with Russia to identify and target Islamic State and al Qaeda headquarters, training camps, and supply routes in Syria.
- Strikes against the identified targets could be carried out by US or Russian jets.
- Secretary of State John Kerry will present the proposal in Moscow.
— APPOINTMENTS —
Rakesh Kumar Chaturvedi new CBSE chairman:
- Mr Rakesh Kumar Chaturvedi has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE.
- His appointment was made by the Prime Minister-headed Appointment Committee of the Cabinet.
- Mr. Chaturvedi, a 1987 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh, has been appointed for a period of five years. The post was lying vacant since December 2014.
Russian named traitor for Olympics participation:
- Russian athlete Darya Klishina was branded a ‘traitor’ for agreeing to compete under a neutral flag in the upcoming Rio Olympics.
- The International Association of Athletics Federation has not allowed 67 others who sought exemptions after the ban on Russia’s athletics team for “state-sponsored” doping.
- Klishina could be the only Russian track-and-field athlete to compete in this year’s Olympics.
India-born Kinshuk appointed as Dean of University of North Texas College of Information:
- An Indian-American professor Dr Kinshuk was appointed as the Dean of University of North Texas College of Information in the United States with effect from 15 August 2016.
- Kinshuk has a diverse set of academic experience in the field of science and technology.
Sheila Dikshit is Congress’ CM candidate for Uttar Pradesh polls:
- Sheila Dikshit was announced as the Chief Ministerial candidate from the Congress party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls due next year.
- Making the announcement, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad added that Sanjay Singh will lead the election campaign committee.
- Notably, Dikshit had previously served three terms as Delhi’s Chief Minister from 1998 to 2013.
— BANKING —
RBI sets up Sudarshan Sen-headed Inter-regulatory Working Group on Fin Tech and Digital Banking:
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted an inter regulatory Working Group (WG) to study the entire gamut of regulatory issues relating to Fin Tech (financial technology) and Digital Banking in India.
- It will view the growing significance of Fin Tech innovations and their interactions with the financial sector as well as the financial sector entities.
- The 13-member working group will be headed by Sudarshan Sen, the executive director of RBI.
- It has been asked to submit its report within six months from the date of its first meeting.
Banks can exchange 20 soiled notes for free: RBI
- In an effort to improve customer service, RBI asked banks to exchange up to 20 pieces of soiled currency notes with a maximum value of Rs.5,000 over the counter free of charge.
- However, if the number of notes to be exchanged is more than 20, banks can levy service charge. The facility is available at designated bank branches.
Bank of England leaves interest rates unchanged:
- The Bank of England has kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.5%, a record low maintained since March 2009, amid market expectations of a rate cut.
- The central bank is due to publish its quarterly Inflation Report on August 4, which will include fresh forecasts for growth and inflation and its first full take on the UK referendum’s economic implications.
— AWARDS AND HONOURS —
The oldest to climb Everest is an 80-yr-old man:
- Japanese adventurer Yuichiro Miura, aged 80 then, was recognised by the Guinness World Records as oldest person to climb the Mt. Everest in 2013.
- He has held this record twice before, once in 2003 at the age of 70 and again in 2008 at 75.
Dwayne world’s highest paid actor: Forbes
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been officially declared the world’s highest paid actor by Forbes in its ‘Celebrity 100’ list.
- The professional wrestler turned actor has had a total earning of $64.5 million since he made his Hollywood debut with ‘The Mummy Returns’ 15 years ago.
- He has starred in seven films that have grossed more than $100 million.
Misbah-ul-Haq becomes oldest captain to score Test hundred:
- Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq scored 110 against England at Lord’s, With this, the 42 years and 47 days old cricketer became the oldest captain to score Test hundred.
- Misbah is also the oldest visiting player to play a Test on English soil in the last 31 years.
- The previous oldest was Somachandra de Silva of Sri Lanka, who was 42 years & 73 days old when he played against England at Lord’s in 1984.
— BOOKS & AUTHORS —
Who Moved My Interest Rate? authored by Duvvuri Subbarao:
- A book titled Who Moved My Interest Rate? authored by Duvvuri Subbarao, the former Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), will be released.
- The book gives an account of the dilemmas Subbarao confronted while leading the Reserve Bank through the extraordinary economic and political challenges India and world faced from 2008 to 2013.
- The book is a chronicle of Subbarao’s attempts to demystify the RBI and explain to the public its impact on their everyday lives.
- Subbarao’s term as the Governor of the RBI from 2008 to 2013 saw a turbulent period for the world and for India. The global financial crisis erupted within a week of his assuming office.
— BUSINESS AND ECONOMY —
3.1 tonnes gold mobilised under monetisation scheme:
- The government has received deposits of 3.1 tonnes of gold under the Gold Monetisation Scheme since its launch in November 2015, Finance Ministry Joint Secretary Saurabh Garg has informed.
- Under the scheme, banks are authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction it off or lend to jewellers, while paying depositors an interest of 2.5% per annum.
Mastercard changes logo for 1st time in 20 years:
- Financial services firm Mastercard unveiled a new consumer-facing logo, the first redesign in 20 years.
- “One of the…changes was to lowercase the “C” in card…to de-emphasize how we are not just a card,” the company said.
- This comes as part of a rebranding exercise, which also involves the rollout of Mastercard’s digital payment service Masterpass later this month.
ShopClues acquires mobile payments startup Momoe:
- Gurgaon-based online marketplace ShopClues acquired mobile payments startup Momoe Technologies.
- ShopClues will reportedly use Momoe’s technology to boost digital payments on its platform.
- IDG Ventures, Jungle Ventures and India Quotient had invested $1.2 million in Momoe in 2014, and will receive cash and stock in ShopClues as part of the transaction.
Tata, US-based Bell ink pact to make helicopters:
- Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) and US-based Bell Helicopter signed a pact to jointly manufacture helicopters under the ‘Make in India’ initiative to meet both civil and military needs.
- The pact includes developing potential production and assembly units, training and maintenance, repair and overhaul needs, research and development, and technology sharing, a statement by Tata read.
TRAI releases paper on public WiFi networks:
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released a consultation paper on expanding internet access through public WiFi networks.
- The paper seeks views on regulatory hurdles, licensing restrictions, business models, and interoperability between WiFi networks, among others.
- The paper also talks about the deployment of city-wide WiFi networks and expansion of WiFi in rural areas.
— SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY —
Researchers build robot with human-like muscles:
- Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a skeleton robot with human-like muscles that assist its movement.
- The microfilament muscle “tissues” connect to joints, expand and contract like human muscles.
- Interestingly, the number of muscles in the robots’ legs is same as in human legs. It can also move its other body parts such as arms and jaws.
Microsoft wins overseas data protection case:
- In a drug trafficking case, an appeals court has ruled that Microsoft cannot be forced to provide data stored in Ireland to the US government.
- Microsoft insisted that the ruling is a win for the protection of people’s privacy rights under their own country’s laws.
- The US government had ealrier said that this ruling would create exploitable legal loophole
— SPORTS —
GM Harika Dronavalli wins Fide Women’s Grand Prix trophy in China:
- India’s Grand Master Harika Dronavalli held on to her nerves to capture the Fide Women’s Grand Prix trophy in Chendu in China.
- Harika, playing with white against Russia’s Olga Girya, had to dig deep into her reservoir to pull off the much-needed draw to win the title, her maiden career GP title.
India jumps 11 places to 152nd in football rankings:
- Riding on their back-to-back wins over Laos last month, India made a big leap of 11 places to occupy 152nd spot in the latest world football rankings issued by FIFA.
- Iran (39th) remain Asia’s number one ranked team, followed by Korea Republic (48th), Uzbekistan (56th), Japan (57th) and Australia (59th).
- Overall, Argentina remain on top, despite losing to Chile in the Copa America Centenario summit clash. Belgium,Colombia, Germany and Chile retained their places at second, third, fourth and fifth while UEFA Euro 2016 champions Portugal moved up two places to be at sixth.
- New Zealand emerged as the month’s biggest climbers, moving up a whopping 54 places to 93rd on the back of an OFC Nations Cup victory that saw the the All Whites qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and furthered their FIFA World Cup qualifying ambitions.
— OBITUARY —
India’s Olympic Silver Medalist Joe Antic passed away:
- Hockey Olympian Joe Antic passed away in Mumbai. He was 90.
- Antic represented the country in the Rome Games where Pakistan won the final between the arch-foes 1-0.
- The hockey player was also a part of the hockey squad that finished runner-up, again to Pakistan, in the Asian Games at Jakarta.
Amar, Bose of sound, is dead at 83:
- Amar Gopal Bose, Indian-American entrepreneur and academic behind the revolutionary sound systems of Bose Corporation, died on July 12 at the age of 83 in Wayland, Massachusetts.