Current Affairs July 10 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Powers of SEBI & RBI in Finance Bill 2019
The Finance Bill 2019, one of the documents of the Union Budget 2019-20, gave certain powers to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Amendments to RBI Act

  • More Powers to regulate NBFCs
  • Regulation of HFCs moved from NHB to RBI:
  • Removal of Directors & Supersession of board
  • Resolution of NBFCs
  • Non-uniform approach and a missed opportunity
  • Debarment of Auditors……………………….Click here to Read more

FAC under MoEFCC recommended ‘in-principle’ approval for Uranium exploration
The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) recommended for “in-principle” permission for exploration of Uranium in Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana.
Key Points:
i. Background: In order to establish Uranium deposits, the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) had sought permission from the Ministry of Forest to carry out survey and drilling of boreholes around Amrabad-Udimalla (Mahaboobnagar district)-Narayanpur (Nalgonda district).
ii. Reason: Investigations indicate that northern part of Cuddapah basin is the most promising and potential area in the country for locating high grade, large tonnage uranium deposits. It is one of the prime targets for exploration of unconformity related Uranium deposits.
iii.Way Ahead: Only the “in-principle” permission has been granted by FAC to AMD. Full and necessary permission is required for the department to allow exploration in the Tiger Reserve. The complete proposal will be placed before the Competent Authority for approval.
About MoEFCC:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 1985
Minister In-charge: Prakash Javadekar

The National Museum of Indian Cinema launched “NMIC Bulletin“
On July 9, 2019, The National Museum of Indian Cinema launched a fortnightly bulletin named “NMIC Bulletin“ in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was brought out by the Films Division with veteran filmmaker Jahnu Barua.
i. It will be a physical document to cherish and get relevant information for several educational institutions and students of media studies who visit Museum regularly.

India’s first cow sanctuary Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya in Madhya Pradesh to be privatised
India’s first cow sanctuary Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya in Agar Malwa, Madya Pradesh (MP), set up in September 2017, will be privatised due to financial crises. Non Government Organisation (NGO) Akshaypatra has showed interest to look into the issues of poor management & regular deaths of cow in the sanctuary and manage it at no profit no loss basis.
i. It was developed by the MP Gau Samvardhan Board by spending about Rs 32 crore.
ii. Around 4,000 cows are living in the sanctuary spread across 472 hectares and in 2018, more than 600 cows had died due to extreme weather conditions.

India’s first elephant rehabilitation centre will be set up at Kerala’s Kottoor
India’s first elephant rehabilitation centre will be set up by the Kerala State Government in its ecotourism village of Kottoor. Rs.105 crore has been allotted to this project which was launched by Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan.Kerala’s KottoorKey points:
i. At present, the center has only 15 elephants and it will be increased once work has been completed.
ii. The centre will have an elephant museum, mahout training centre, super-specialty hospital, a retirement home and crematorium for the animals, will house orphaned, injured and older elephants.
iii. Now the state has 507 captive elephants & forest department plans to admit more captive elephants.
iv. The centre has set up with 65 hectares of natural forests area will have elephant safari and other activities to attract tourists.
About Kerala:
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Governor :P. Sathasivam
♦ National Parks: Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Pampadum Shola National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

New Delhi’s Connaught Place is the 9th most expensive office location in the world
According to the report titled, “Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey” (annual report)  by CBRE, an American real estate consulting firm, New Delhi’s Connaught Place (CP) was the 9th most expensive office location in the world with an annual rent of nearly $144 per sq ft. 6 of the world’s 10 most expensive office markets were from Asia.New Delhi’s Connaught PlaceKey Points:
i. First Rank: For the second year, Hong Kong’s Central district retained the top spot as the world’s most expensive market for prime office rents. The prime occupancy costs was valued at $322 per sq.ft. per annum.
ii. Other Ranks: London’s West End was ranked 2nd, followed by Hong Kong’s Kowloon, New York’s Midtown Manhattan and Beijing’s Finance Street.
iii. Indian cities: Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Nariman Point- Central Business District (CBD) were ranked at 27th and 40th positions respectively.

Saudi Arabia adopts Digital India &‘equality of women’ motto for Haj 2019
Indian Haj mission in Saudi Arabia adopts Digital India and ‘equality of women’ motto for the empowerment of Muslim women pilgrims & to reach out to a large number of pilgrims as part of the Government of India’s initiative of Digital India.Indian Haj Information SystemKey points:
i. App for Grievance redressal: An App called “ Indian Haj Information System” has been introduced to receive grievances and feedback from Hajis to improve the service. It also connects the pilgrims with Qadimul Hajjaj (Haj service coordinators, who were deployed to assist pilgrims during the Haj), of their respective States.
ii. Languages available: The app currently available in English, Hindi, and Urdu, other regional languages will be incorporated during the course of time.
iii. Another app: e-MASIHA (Medical Assistance System for Indian-Hajis abroad) is also launched to store pilgrim’s health information &medical history, so that appropriate treatment can be administered when he/she visits Indian medical facilities during Haj.
iv. Empowerment:  2332 single women are travelling for Haj in 2019 following the rule modification for the period 2018 -2022, which allowed single Muslim women above the age of 45 to go for Haj without a male guardian.
v. Saudi Arabian SIM card: It is being provided to pilgrims in India itself after recording their biometrics. It can be activated in the buildings of Madinah and Makkah.
About Saudi Arabia:
♦ Capital: Riyadh
♦ Currency: Saudi Riyal
♦ King: Salman
♦ Crown Prince:  Mohammad Bin Salman

Overall Homicide Rate declined by 10% in India: UN Report
On July 8, 2019, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a report titled Global Study on Homicide 2019. It stated that the overall Homicide Rate declined by 10% in India over the period 2009- 2015, from 3.8 to 3.4 per 100,000 population but it was increased ‘Noticeably’ in some Northern States.
Key Points:
i. Mumbai, which has a population of over 18 million, had one of the lowest homicide rates- just 0.9 in large metropolises in Asia.
ii. The number of female homicide victims were more than that of males. Dowry-related killings was one of the contributors to more female homicide.
iii. Males constituted less than 20% of the total homicide victims in 2016.
iv. As per the data from the National Crime Records Bureau, female dowry deaths accounted for 40 to 50% of all female homicides recorded annually, representing a stable trend over the period from 1999 to 2016.
v. Sorcery accusations was one of the reasons behind gender-related killings.
vi. The report also found that son preference was the reason that made parents more likely to neglect their female infants and children, and even to commit infanticide.
About UNODC:
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
Founded:  14 July 1997
Executive Director:  Mr. Yury Fedotov

BANKING & FINANCE

NHAI inks pact with NIIF to fund highway projects
On July 8, 2019, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed an MoU(Memorandum of understanding) with National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to fund large scale projects, including highways in a bid to achieve Prime Minister’s vision to make India a $5-trillion economy in the next five years.
Key points:
i. The MoU meant to form SPVs (special purpose vehicles )to execute the fund arrangement for large size green field road projects to be executed by NHAI.
ii. In a major greenfield investment, the two organizations would be investing equity of around Rs 15,000 crores in the Delhi- Mumbai expressway, and can further raise a debt of around Rs 60,000 crores on the equity.
iii. The MoU will provide innovative financial models including for the 24,000 km Rs.7.5 lakh crore Bharatmala Pariyojana and it will also boost private investments in a big way to go ahead with the plan of highway expansion.
iv. NIIF will also explore projects offered on Toll-operate-transfer (T-O-I) basis by NHAI.
About NHAI:
♦ Chairman‎: ‎Nagendra Nath Sinha
♦ Founded: 1988
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
About NIIF:
♦ CEO: Sujoy Bose
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: February 2015

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Parliament adopts a statutory resolution for levying 200% duty on all Pakistani goods
The two statutory resolutions were moved by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State (M/S) for Finance on behalf of Union Minister of Finance Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. It was decided to levy 200% duty on all goods originating in or exported from Pakistan.
Key Points:
i. With effect from 16 February 2019, India had notified about levying of basic custom duty to 200% on all goods exported from Pakistan. In this regard, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha approved the amendment in the 1st Schedule of Customs Tariff Act (CTA), 1975.
ii. It was decided to hike Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on lentils, boric acid and diagnostic and laboratory reagents.
iii. On lentils, the duty was increased from 40% to 50%, on boric acid it was increased from 17.5% to 27.5% and on diagnostic items it was hiked from 20% to 30%.
About Pakistan:
Currency: Pakistani rupee
Capital: Islamabad
Prime Minister: Imran Khan
President: Arif Alvi

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

New World Heritage sites included in the list by UNESCO
At the 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee which was held from June 30 to July 10, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added several new sites into the list of the World Heritage Sites.

  • UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) voted to add Bahrain’s Dilmun Burial Mounds to its World Heritage List
  • Italy’s Prosecco hills northeast of Venice, which have been cultivated for centuries were added into the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, which date back 5,300 years, were added into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • The Ombilin coal mine in Sawahlunto, West Sumatra, the “oldest coal mining town in Southeast Asia”, were added into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhouang- Plain of Jars from Lao People’s Democratic Republic were added into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan, It is located on a plateau above the Osaka Plain, were added into the UNESCO World Heritage List………………………….Click here to Read more

RIL outpace TCS to become the most valued firm by m-cap with more than 8 Lakh Crore
On July 8, 2019, Mukesh Ambani -led  Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) surpassed IT-major, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to become the most valued firm by market capitalization (m-cap).RILKey points:
i. The current m-cap of RIL is Rs 8,11,048.27 crore and that of  TCS is Rs 7,99,802.04 crore which is 11,246.23 crores less than RIL.
ii. Shares of RIL increased by 2.20 % to Rs 1,279.45 on the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and Intra-day it surged  2.55 % to Rs 1,283.85.while the Shares of TCS fell by 2.05 % to Rs 2,131.45.
iii. RIL was followed by TCS, HDFC Bank (Housing Development Finance Corporation,Rs 6,50,136.04 crore), HDFC (Rs 3,85,207.96 crore) and HUL(Hindustan Unilever ,Rs 3,76,545.49 crore).
About RIL:
♦ Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani
♦ Founded: 8 May 1973,
♦ Headquarters: Maharashtra
About TCS:
♦ CEO: Rajesh Gopinathan
♦ Chairman: N. Chandrasekaran
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1968

Sunil Chhetri and Ashalata Devi conferred with top honours at AIFF Awards
On July 9, 2019, Sunil Chhetri, Indian men’s football team captain, was named the Men’s Footballer of the year 2019 at the All India Football Federation‘s (AIFF) Awards. He won the award for the third consecutive year. He is also the second-highest active international scorer (70 goals for India) after Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. In women’s category, it was conferred to footballer Ashalata Devi.Sunil Chhetri and Ashalata DeviOther Awards:

AIFF Emerging Men’s Footballer of the YearSahal Abdul Samad (Kerala)
AIFF Emerging Women’s Footballer of the YearDangmei Grace (Manipur)
Best grassroots development programmeJammu and Kashmir Football Association
AIFF Award for the Best Assistant RefereeJoseph Tony (Karnataka)
AIFF Award for the Best RefereeR Venkatesh (Tamil Nadu)
About AIFF:
Headquarters: Dwarka, Delhi
President: Praful Patel

Aditya Birla World Academy became the only Indian School to feature in ‘The Commonwealth At 70: From Westminster to the World’ Book
In ‘The Commonwealth at 70: From Westminster to the World’ book published by the popular London publishers St James House and the History of Parliament Trust, Aditya Birla World Academy, India’s leading International school situated in Mumbai, Maharashtra, became the only Indian school to be featured in it.Aditya Birla World AcademyKey Points:
i. An event ‘Commonwealth at 70’ which commemorated 70 years of the Commonwealth (Estb April 26, 1949) was held on June 25, 2019 at Westminster Abbey, United Kingdom. It was attended by Mrs. Neerja Birla, Chairperson of The Aditya Birla World Academy.
ii. The Aditya Birla World Academy strives to create a cohesive learning environment which helps to develop a child’s innate talents.

Film ‘Gully Boy’ directed by Zoya Akthar wins NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at BIFAN 2019
Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt starrer ‘Gully Boy’, directed by Zoya Akthar was honoured with the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Award for Best Asian Film at the 23rd edition of Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) for the year 2019 held at Bucheon City, South Korea.Zoya Akthar wins NETPAC Awardi. ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by the lives of Mumbai street rappers Vivian Fernandes aka Divine and Naved Shaikh aka Naezy. It was released on February 14, 2019.

NFR’s Plan Bee, a strategy to keep wild elephants away from train tracks bags ‘Best Innovation Award’ for the year 2019
Northeast Frontier Railway’s (NFR) ‘Plan Bee’, a strategy of using an amplified version of honey bees sound to keep wild elephants away from train tracks won the “ Best innovation award” of Indian Railways for the 2018-19 fiscal. The prize comprised of citation & cash award of Rs.3 lakh.NFR's Plan BeeKey points:
i. Plan bee: It was launched in 2017 under which 46 devices were installed at several level crossings in Assam to play the sound of buzzing honey bees to drive away elephants from the rail tracks. This device is designed to generate the sound of honey bees from a distance of about 700-800 m.
ii. Installation: The first instrument installed at level crossing gate between Azara and Kamakhya stations under Rangiya division and then installed in several level crossing gates in the vicinity of forest areas.
iii. Background: Since 2013, a total of 67 elephants died in train hits in Assam while they were crossing the rail tracks and the population of elephant in Assam coming down to 5620.
About Assam:
♦ Capital: Dispur
♦ Chief minister: Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Governor: Jagdish Mukhi

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Arun Kumar appointed as Director General(DG) of DGCA
On July 9, 2019, The Appointment Committee of the cabinet, Government of India(GoI) has approved Arun Kumar as new full-time Director General (DG) of aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary. He will succeed B S Bhullar (IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre).Arun KumarKey points:
i. Prior to this, Kumar was serving as Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation.
ii. Kumar is an IAS officer of 1989 batch of Haryana cadre and was heading the DGCA as an additional charge between May 31 and July 9, 2019.
iii. Bhullar was appointed as DGCA chief in December 2016.
About DGCA:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Parent agency: Ministry of Civil Aviation
♦ Minister responsible: Hardeep S. Puri
♦ Vision: To promote Safe and efficient Air Transportation through regulation and proactive safety oversight system in India.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Russia successfully launched its Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with 33 satellites
On July 5, 2019, The Russian space agency Roscosmos has successfully launched its Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with a hydrometeorological satellite and 32 small satellites. It was launched from the Vostochny spaceport in the Far Eastern Amur Region aimed at solving problems of space weather research and monitoring the movement of civil aircraft.Russia successfully launched its Soyuz-2.1a Key points:
i. This was the 5th launch of a spacecraft for civilian purposes and to provide images of clouds, the surface of the Earth, ice and snow covers. It also obtains data on sea surface temperature, the state of the ozone layer as well as level of humidity, which will help to provide accurate meteorological forecasts.
ii. The hydrometeorological satellite of Russia, Meteor-M No.2-2  put into a target orbit with a height of about 832 km.
iii. The small satellites were developed by Germany, France, the US, Israel, Britain, Sweden, Finland, Thailand, Ecuador, the Czech Republic, and Estonia.
iv. This launch will allow accessing the outer space & reducing the dependence of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
About Russia:
♦ Capital: Moscow
♦ Currency: Russian ruble
♦ President: Vladimir Putin
♦ Prime Minister: Dmitry Medvedev

Lucrezia Terzi, a researcher provides a new way of predicting monsoon to help farmers
A researcher at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCKCEN), Lucrezia Terzi provides a new way of predicting the monsoon two months in advance, by measuring how much Beryllium-7(Be-7, an isotope of Beryllium) is present in the air. She has presented a paper on the subject at a science and technology conference organized in Vienna by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).
The study has been published in Nature magazine.
Key points:
i. Reason for selection: Be-7 is created only in the stratosphere when cosmic rays hit and break the nuclei of nitrogen and oxygen.
ii. Prediction: When air flows down from the stratosphere (upwards of 33,000 feet from the earth’s surface), it brings with it some Be-7.
ii. With her method, Indian monsoon can be predicted 52 days in advance with a margin of error of three days.
iii. Trial:  To measure the concentration of Be-7, Terzi used two of the IMS stations in Dubna, Russia, and Melbourne, Australia.

A new human atlas initiative named ‘Manav’ launched for holistic understanding of human biology
Manav, a new human atlas initiative has been launched by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Persistent Systems, a biotechnology company towards improving knowledge on human biology.
Key points:
i. Aim:  The initiative aims to create a database of a molecular network of all the tissues in the human body and to derive a holistic picture of working of the human body.
ii. Under it, students will be trained and imparted with skills to perform annotation and curation of information that will ultimately form the online network.
iii. Benefit: This will help scientists to understand the differential molecular factors which vary between diseased states versus a healthy state of an organ.
ii. Funding: DBT has invested Rs. 13 crore shared between two institutions in Pune – National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) and Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune. Besides, Persistent Systems Limited has co-funded the project contributed Rs 7 crore.

SPORTS

Magnus Carlsen wins the Croatia Grand Chess Tour title 2019
On July 7, 2019, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the world champion, won the Croatia Grand Chess Tour 2019 title against Maxime Vachier Lagrav of France. It was his eighth straight win in the tournament. He earned $90,000 and 20 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) points. The tournament was held from June 26 – July 8, 2019 at Mimara Museum (Opening Ceremony) & Novinarski Dom (Tournament Games), Croatia.Magnus CarlsenViswanathan Anand of India lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and suffered his second defeat in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour.

The 34th edition of Sailing Championship 2019 concluded in Telangana
The 34th edition of the national level sailing championship 2019, ‘ Hyderabad Sailing Week’ was concluded at Secunderabad Club, Telangana.
Key points:
i. Organizer: The event was held between July 2-July 7,2019 and it was jointly hosted by the EME Sailing Association, the Secunderabad Sailing Club and Laser Class Association of India.
ii. Participation: It saw the participation of 192 sailors (of these 22 women sailors ) and 173 boats from famous sailing clubs across the country.
iii. Old & young: The oldest participant was Murli Kanuri( 68) and the youngest was Shaurya, (13).
Here’s a look at the full list of trophies and winners:

WinnerTrophy
Rammilan Yadav of NSS BhopalLaser 4.7 open trophy and Laser 4.7 boys under 18 trophy
Ritika Dangi of NSS Bhopal(National Sailing School).Laser 4.7 girls under 18 years trophy
Gitesh of AYN(Army Yatching Node)Rolling Trophy & Laser Radial trophy
Nethra Kumaram of TNSA(Tamil Nadu Sailing Association).Laser Radial Women trophy
About Telangana:
♦ Capital: Hyderabad  Telangana
♦ Chief minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao
♦ Governor: E. S. L. Narasimhan

OBITUARY

Former Indian football team goalkeeper AU Celestine passed away at the age of 73
AU Celestine from Tamil Nadu, a former India football goalkeeper passed away after a brief illness in Chennai. He was 73.
Key points:
i. He played for the Tamil Nadu state men’s team as a goalkeeper in Senior Nationals in the 1965 and 1969 National Championships and also represented India in the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia in 1969.
ii. In 1967, He joined Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Madras.
iii. He worked as a talent spotter of All India Football Federation (AIFF) and he trained the underprivileged children in North Madras area in Football and help them with their education. He also served as a coach for the Tamilnadu State Junior, Sub Junior and Women’s teams.
About Tamil Nadu:
♦ Capital: Chennai
♦ Governor:  Banwarilal Purohit
♦ Chief Minister : Edappadi K. Palaniswami

STATE NEWS

Madhya Pradesh will soon be able to produce its own seeds
The Madhya Pradesh State Cooperative Seed Federation will produce its own seeds in addition with distribution and marketing of certified and high-quality seeds to farmers. The brand name of seeds to be ‘Sah-Beej’ produced from next Rabi season.
Key points:
i. The decision was taken in a meeting Board of Directors’ held under the chairmanship of Govind Singh, Minister for Cooperatives in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
ii. Seed societies in the state linked with seed federation will help in the marketing of seeds.
iii. Training will also be given to members of seed societies through agriculture science centres to make them competent and empowered.
About Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Capital: Bhopal
♦ Chief minister: Kamal Nath
♦ Governor: Anandiben Patel

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