Current Affairs Today – July 16 2017

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Current Affairs July 16 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Matunga becomes India’s first railway station run by women
In a bid to empower women, Central Railway has appointed all women staff at suburban Matunga railway station, thereby making it India’s first railway station run by women. A formal event to mark all women railway station will be held soon.
i. A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks.
ii. Matunga railway station, which is located in central Mumbai, gets a huge number of student population as a lot of colleges are located in the area.

Govt launches GST training programme
The government has launched a GST training programme to skill around two lakh youths in six months and to handle tax compliance issues like invoice making.
Key Points:
i. The people would be trained under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).         
ii. It will be implemented in 14 states and in the next six months, two lakh people will GSTget complete training about GST.
iii. The new GST training programme helps businesses in areas such as registration and calculation of tax liability under the new tax regime.
iv. The ministry also launched a national portal for assessors and trainers besides 51 new PMKVY centres.
v. Now, the total number of PMKVY centres has increased to 200.
vi. To mark the second anniversary of Skill India mission the ministry has inaugurated the training course at 100 centres in the country.

One passport centre in every 50km distance
According to the Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said the government is working on a vision to set up one passport centre in every 50 km range in the country in future.
Key Points:
i. The Union minister also inaugurated another POPSK in Kishnanagar in Nadia district through video-conferencing at the same time.
ii. In West Bengal POPSK had come up first in Asansol and then in Raiganj, the government would now set up similar offices in Siliguri and Darjeeling.
iii. As per the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and MEA minister Sushma Swaraj’s vision to reach out passport facilities to the common man, one passport centre (POPSK) will come up in every 50 km range in future.
iv. Tatkaal, On-hold files, walk-in and PCC applications will not be accepted and processed in these POPSKs.
v. Applicants in Normal category (Fresh/Re-issue) only will be entertained in these new POPSKs.

India celebrated Falun Gong  on July 15, 2017
Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual practice that combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy. Falun Gong is the ancient Chinese holistic system that is banned in China. It will be celebrated in India on 15th July with a parade and Human Word Formation in the capital.
Key Notes:
i. The organiser of the event is the Falun Dafa Association of India, which has been teaching Falun Gong in India.
ii. The group hold events and public interactions at Gandhi Smriti, Rajghat on 14th July and 15th July.India celebrated Falun Gong  on July 15, 2017
iii. On this occasion over 200 practitioners of Falun Dafa from India and other countries will participate in a Peace Parade and Human Word Formation at Connaught Place.
iv. Its main aim is to spread the message of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance which are the basic principles of Falun Dafa.
v. It also aimed to create awareness of the severe persecution being suffered by Falun Dafa practitioners in China for over several years.
vi. Falun Dafa Association of India has been campaigning for months to familiarise the challenges that the followers of this group are facing in China.
About Falun Gong
♦ Falun Gong practitioners in China are reportedly subject to a wide range of human rights abuses,hundreds of thousands are estimated to have been imprisoned ,psychiatric abuse, torture.
♦ Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi has lived in the United States since 1996 and Falun Gong has a sizable global constituency.
♦ Inside China, estimates suggest that tens of millions continued to practice Falun Gong in spite of the persecution.
♦ Hundreds of thousands are estimated to practice Falun Gong outside China in over 70 countries worldwide.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Mexican city named World’s best, Udaipur among top 15
Udaipur in Rajasthan has featured in the ‘The World’s Top 15 Cities’ list compiled by famous magazine ‘Travel + Leisure’ (T+L). The list has been topped by a Mexican City, San Miguel de Allende.
World’s Top 5 Cities:

1 San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2 Charleston, South Carolina, USA
3 Chiang Mai, Thailand
4 Kyoto, Japan
5 Florence, Italy

Indonesia renaming part of South China Sea as North Natuna Sea
Indonesia has become the latest Southeast Asian nation to rename South China Sea as North Natuna Sea.
Key Points:
i. Indonesia will refer to the northern areas of its exclusive economic zone in the South Indonesia renaming part of South China Sea as North Natuna SeaChina Sea as the North Natuna Sea.
ii. At a press conference in Jakarta, Deputy Minister for Marine Sovereignty ArifHavas Oegroseno disclosed a new map with the renamed territory.
iii. The part of the renamed area falls in China’s “nine-dash line” waters extending hundreds of miles to the south and east of China’s island province Hainan.
iv. Indonesia is not the first country to rename part of the South China Sea.
vIn 2011, the Philippines renamed the waters as the “West Philippine Sea” and two years later took the territorial dispute before an international tribunal at The Hague.
vi. Oegroseno said that the Indonesian government has the authority to name every area in the country’s territory.
vii. Indonesia insists it is a non-claimant state in the South China Sea dispute but has clashed with China over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands.
viii. The Deputy of Maritime Sovereignty at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Arif Havas Oegroseno, noted the northern side of its exclusive economic zone was the site of oil and gas activity.
About Idonesia
♦ Capital: Jakarta
♦ Currency: Indonesia Rupiah
♦ President: Joko Widodo

BANKING & FINANCE

MobiKwik, Samsung Pay to enable one-tap payment solution for e-wallet users
MobiKwik and Samsung Pay enable one-tap payment solution for e-wallet users.
Key Points:
i. According to the digital payments firm MobiKwik wallet is now integrated with Samsung Pay Mini to enable one-tap payments at more than 1.4 million MobiKwik-powered merchants across the country.
ii. The government has also introduced a number of schemes to promote adoption of e-payment methods like mobile wallets, debit/credit cards and Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
iii. Samsung Pay, the mobile payments service of the world’s largest handset maker was launched in India in March 2017.
iv. It allows users to just tap and pay using the debit/credit cards and wallets stored on their mobile devices.
v. Currently, Samsung Pay is available for users of devices like Samsung S8, Samsung S7 Edge, S7, J7 Max and J7 Pro among others.
vi. More than 55 million and 1.4 million merchants will benefit from this association.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

IIFA Awards 2017 – Shahid-Alia win Best Actor and Actress, Neerja wins Best Film
IIFA Awards 2017, officially known as 18th International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony was held on 14–15 July 2017 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, USA.IIFA Awards 2017 - Shahid-Alia win Best Actor and Actress, Neerja wins Best Film
i. Alia Bhatt won the Best Actress Award for playing the role of a migrant girl trapped in a drug lord’s house in film ‘Udta Punjab’.
ii. Shahid Kapoor won the Best Actor Award for playing Tommy Singh, a Punjabi rockstar struggling with a drug addiction in the film ‘Udta Punjab’.
iii. ‘Neerja’ won the Best Film Award, while ‘Pink’ director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury won the award for Best Director.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Four new members appointed in CBEC
The four new members a senior bureaucrat John Joseph and three other officials have been appointed as members in the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
Key Points:
i. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved appointment of Sushant Kumar Panda, Ameeta Suri, Pranab Kumar Das and Joseph as the new members.
ii. Joseph was recently appointed as chief of Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence.
iii. They are working in different departments of the CBEC. It is the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes.
iv. The CBEC is headed by a chairperson and can have a maximum of six members.
v. The board and its officials are key stakeholders in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
About CBEC
♦ Formed: 26th Jan 1944
♦ The Central Board of Excise and Custom renamed as Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC) is the nodal national agency responsible for administering Customs, Central Excise,Service Tax & Narcotics in India.

18-year-old ragpicker Bilal Dar to be Srinagar’s civic ambassador
Bilal Dar an 18-year-old ragpicker has been appointed brand ambassador of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on 16th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Bilal Dar earned his living by picking up waste from the Wular Lake in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.
ii. As a brand ambassador of the SMC, Dar will be given a special uniform and a vehicle 18-year-old ragpicker Bilal Dar to be Srinagar’s civic ambassadorto go and meet people in commercial and residential areas.
iii. Dar is a resident of Laharwarpora of Bandipora district, has been removing plastic trash from the lake and selling it for around Rs 150-200 per day.
iv. He has been earning his livelihood by cleaning the Wular Lake and removing garbage, used bottles and shoes.
v. Dar’s father Mohammad Ramzan Dar, a ragpicker on the Wular himself, died of cancer in 2003.
vi. As a brand ambassador he will talk to people and sensitise them about environmental issues, cleanliness and garbage disposal.

ENVIRONMENT

New unique species of hermit crab discovered
Scientists have discovered a unique new species of hermit crab on 16th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The newly discovered crustacean is called Paragiopagurus atkinsonae or the Green-eyed hermit crab.
ii. It measures merely 70 millimeters in length and sports a colouration of mottled orange nuanced with cream to white.New unique species of hermit crab discovered
iii. According to Jannes Landschoff a PhD student at University of Cape Town in South Africa said when anyone hold it, it is just organic material glued together with some sand.
iv. The new species was discovered during a three-week survey back in 2013, conducted by the Department of Forestry and Fisheries and the South African Environmental Observation Networkin the shallower deep waters (199 metres to 277 metres) off the West Coast of South Africa

SPORTS

BCCI appoints committee to revisit support staff appointments
A four-member committee of BCCI will take the final call in appointing the support staff of the Indian team and then decide on the contracts that will be handed to the coaches.
Key Points:
i. A four member committee includes President CK Khanna, acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, CEO Rahul Johri and Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji.
ii. The four-member panel will look into the whole aspect of appointing the support staff and then also decide the financial terms of their appointment.
iii. In this case, the salary of the head coach will also be decided by them.
iv. The Cricket Advisory Committee’s decision to appoint Rahul Dravid as batting consultant and Zaheer Khan as bowling consultant for overseas tour will be revisited.
v. The CAC comprising of Sachin Tendulkar,SouravGanguly and VVS Laxmanhadinformed the COA that the decision to appoint Dravid and Zaheer was taken after consulting chief coach Shastri.
vi. The CAC’s decision to appoint Dravid and Zaheer will now need the stamp of approval from the four-member committee.
About BCCI
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the national governing body for cricket in India.
♦ Founded: 1926
♦ HQ: Maharashtra India
♦ CEO: Rahul Johri
♦ President: CK Khanna

Harinder Pal Sandhu wins Victorian Open squash title
India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu won a Victorian Open squash title, in Melbourne.
Key Points:
i. Harindar won a second title in two weeks and beat Rex Hedrick of Australia 12-14, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 in a 77-minute final.
ii. Third-seeded Sandhu, who had won the South Australian Open last week has won the Harinder Pal Sandhu wins Victorian Open squash titlesecond game by 11-3.
iii. The third game has won by 11-4.
iv. He carried the momentum into the fourth game and stayed ahead to win it 11-7. It was his fourth title of the year.
v. He had beaten Piedro Schweertman of the Netherlands to reach the final.

Lakshmanan wins gold in 5000m, three meet records broken
Asian champion Govindan Lakshmanan has won a gold medal in men’s 5000m race on the opening day of the National Inter-State Athletics Championships.
Key Notes:
i. Lakshmanan, represents Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand’s Man Singh and KalidasHirave of Maharashtra were in second and third positions respectively.
ii. He bagged a gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships 2017 held in Bhubaneswar.
iii. He has also qualified for the World Championships to be held in London next month.
ivAnu Raghavan of Keralabroke the meet record in women’s 400m hurdles.
v. The men’s 400m hurdles Jabir M P and M Ramachandran of Andhra Pradesh securing the top two positions. Tamil Nadu’s Santosh Kumar came in third place.
viSarita Singh also created a new meet record in women’s hammer throw with a best throw of 63.22m.
vii. Anathlete from Uttar Pradesh, Gunjan Singh came second while Punjab’s Sarabjeet Kaur was third.

OBITUARY

Iranian- born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani dies
Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian-born mathematician has died after a battle with cancer. She was 40.
Key Points:
i. Maryam was the first woman to win the coveted Fields Medal.
ii. She had been battling for four years spread to her bone marrow.
iii. She was born in 1977 and raised in Tehran. Mirzakhani was a professor at Stanford University in California. Iranian- born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani dies
iv. In 2014 Mirzakhaniwon the Fields Medal, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Mathematics, which is awarded by the International Congress of Mathematicians.
v. Mirzakhani became known on the international mathematics scene as a teenager, winning gold medals at both the 1994 and 1995 International Math Olympiads.
vi. Mirzakhani studied mathematics in Iran and had a PhD degree from Harvard in 2004.
vii. She then taught at Princeton University before moving to Stanford in 2008.
viii. She went on to win the 2009 Blumenthal Award for the Advancement of Research in Pure Mathematics, and the 2013 Satter Prize of the American Mathematical Society.

Former Sikkim CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari passes away
Former three – term chief ministers of Sikkim, Nar Bahadur Bhandari died on July 16, 2017. He passed away at the age of 77.
i. Bhandari was born in 1940 at Malbasey in West Sikkim.He was an obscure school teacher.He is survived by wife Dil Kumari Bhandari, a former MP, two daughters and a son.
ii. He became the chief minister of Sikkim for the first time in 1979 on a Janata Parishad ticket and then again in 1984 and 1989 on a Sikkim Sangram Parishad ticket.
iii. The founder of the SSP and he remained the party president. He was also a former president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

“Katie Price Unveils New Novel “”Playing With Fire”
Katie Price has disclosed the cover for her next novel “Playing With Fire“, which will be available later this year.
Key Points:
i. The novel has a story of a 27-year-old events manager named Indigo, who falls for restaurant entrepreneur Connor after she is tasked with planning the opening of his new Shoreditch night club.
ii. It will be out on 19th October.

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