Current Affairs Today – July 18 2017

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Current Affairs July 18 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha
‘Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017’, a bill providing for amendment to the regulations governing compensation amount payable at the time of acquisition of immovable property by the central government was introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 18, 2017, by Minister of State for Planning, Programme Implementation and Statistics Rao Inderjit Singh.
i. The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act that came into force in 1952, empowers the central government to requisition any immovable property and also to acquire them under certain specified conditions.
ii. The amendment bill to this act has been introduced amid instances of persons interested in a property challenging the acquisition move citing that they were not given the opportunity for personal hearing.

Karnataka appoints panel to design ‘state flag’, look into legal sanctity
Karnataka has constituted a nine member committee to design a ‘state’ flag and submit a report on giving it legal sanctity.
Key Points:
i. If such a flag does come into being, Karnataka will only be the second state in the country to officially have a flag of its own.Karnataka appoints panel to design 'state flag', look into legal sanctity
iiJammu & Kashmir is the only state to have its own flag as it enjoys a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.
iii. The state government told the Karnataka high court that it had not accepted suggestions to declare the red-and-yellow Kannada flag the official state flag, as a separate flag would go against the “unity and integrity of the country”.
iv. According to the Kannada and culture minister Govind M KarjolOur national flag is the symbol of integrity and sovereignty of our nation.
v. If states have their separate flags, it could diminish the importance of the national flag.
Karnataka National Park:
♦ 
Kudremukh National Park, Nagarhole Natioanl Park and Anshi National Park

Bill introduced in LS for setting up petroleum institute in AP
A bill has introduced in Lok Sabha for setting up of the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy in Andhra Pradesh. It has been introduced on 18th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. According to the Objects and Reasons of the bill the institute would be established in Visakhapatnam district in pursuance of the central government’s commitment for setting up a petroleum university.
ii. Under the bill, there is a provision for constituting a board of governors as well as general council for the institute.
iii. The institute would provide high quality education and conduct advance research in all aspects relating to the conventional hydrocarbons.
iv. Under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017 was introduced by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas DharmendraPradhan.
v. The institute will also pursue research and development in the fields such as liquefied natural gas, biofuels and renewables.
vi. A tribunal of arbitrator would also be set up to decide upon any dispute arising out of a contract between the institute and any of its employee.
vii. One member appointed by the institute, one person nominated by the employee and an umpire appointed by the visitor would be a part of the tribunal.

SC allows Centre to replace MCI oversight committee
The Supreme Court has allowed the Centre to replace the MCI oversight committee and to supervise the functioning of the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a fresh panel of five eminent doctors.
Key Points:
i. A five-judge Constitution bench is headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar observed that the Centre should constitute a panel which would replace the oversight committee.
ii. The committee, set up by the court on 2nd May 2016 last was to function for a period of one year or till a suitable mechanism was brought in by the Centre to substitute it.
iii. It also gave the Centre liberty to replace any doctor in the list with another if he does not wish to be a part of the oversight committee.
iv. The bench had asked the Centre to constitute a panel which would replace the oversight SC allows Centre to replace MCI oversight committeecommittee set up last year by the apex court.
v. To oversee the MCIs functioning till the government put in place an alternate mechanism.
vi. MCI had debated that the directions of the constitution bench which had set up the oversight committee were based on certain material which could not be controverted at the time of the order.
vii. According to Mukul Rohatgia senior advocate the tenure of the oversight committee should be extended by one more year.
viii. The apex court had on 13th July agreed to set up a five- judge constitution bench to deal with the matter.

Kolkata to host global business meet in November 2017
The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in association with the West Bengal Government, will host Horasis Asia Meeting, a Global Business meeting, in November 2017 announced on 18th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The two-day business meet will start from 26th  November, 2017
ii. It will focus on sustainable business practices in various areas, including power and energy.
iii. The event will be attended by over 500 delegates from over 65 countries.
West Bangal GK 
♦ Governor:Keshari Nath Tripathi
♦ National Park: Sunderbans NP, Gorumara National NP and Jaldapara NP

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Indians among top asylum-seekers, according to the International Migration Outlook 2017
According to the International Migration Outlook 2017 report on Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, Indians are among top asylum-seekers in other countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Japan, Latvia, Slovak Republic, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
i. As per the report, Indians and Chinese were the top asylum seekers in countries such as New Zealand and Latvia between 2012 and 2016.
ii. During 2015-16, total 340 people sought asylum in New Zealand. Out of them, India and China were the largest source countries of asylum-seekers – 11% and 9% respectively.

BANKING & FINANCE

India stands 4th among fastest growing economies – World Bank
As per World Bank’s latest edition of the report titled ‘Global Economic Prospects – A fragile recovery’, India is the fourth fastest growing economy in the world behind Estonia, Uzbekistan and Nepal.
i. For FY 2017-18, Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.2%. For following fiscal year it will grow at 7.5%It pegs world GDP to grow at 2.7 percent in 2017 and 2.9 percent in 2018-19.
ii. Emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are expected to grow at 4.1 percent in 2017 and reach an average of 4.6 percent in 2018-19.

SBI launches realty website ‘SBI-Realty’ to facilitate home buyers
SBI bank has launched ‘SBI Realty’ www.sbirealty.in . It is a one stop integrated website for home buyers.The lender is expected to expand its home loancredit through such move.
Key Points:
i. SBI-Realty will help customers to choose their desired home from the universe of 3000 SBI approved projects across the country.
ii. There are 9.5 lakhs home units available on the website. Customers can compare current and past trends of prices for the properties in various localities in the city.
iii. Customers can calculate their loan amount based in his/her income and credit profile through the SBI’s newly launched website.SBI launches realty website 'SBI-Realty' to facilitate home buyers.jpg
iv. These projects are spread across 13 states and Union Territories covering 30 cities including metros, semi metro and towns.
v. SBI has the largest share on the home loan market. It grew home loans nearly 17% to about Rs 2.23 lakh crore during 2016-17.
vi. The site is developed by SBICAP Securities in association with PropEquity in terms of data support, project information.
About SBI
State Bank of India (SBI) is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company.
♦ HQ: Mumbai
♦ Chairman: Arundhati Bhattacharya
♦ Tagline:With you all the way ,Pure banking nothing else,The nation’s bank on us

BUSINESS

MoU Signed between Department of Defence Production and BEL
The MoU has been signed between the department of Defence Production and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the financial year 2017-18 with the Ministry. BEL is a Navratna Schedule ‘A’ Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE).
Key Points:
i. The MoU was signed between Secretary Defence Production Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Chairman and Managing Director, BEL Shri MV Gowtama. 
ii. The Operating Profit to Revenue from Operations target has been set at 14% and PAT to Average Networth has been set at 15%.
iii. The revenue from operations has been targeted at Rs. 9000 crore.
iv. The main focus has been given to turnover from exports and increase in indigenous content and other factors include CAPEX investment and Monitoring of CAPEX projects, Reduction in Trade Receivables, and HR related parameters.
About BEL
♦ It is owned by the Indian Government and primarily manufactures advanced electronic products for the Indian Armed Forces.
♦ Founded in 1954
♦ HQ: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Reliance Industries market capitalisation hits Rs 5 lakh crore mark
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for the first time crossed Rs 5 lakh crore in market capitalisation.It is the second company to cross Rs 5 lakh crore in market capitalisation.
Key Points:
i. In July 2014 Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) was the first company to hit Rs 5 lakh crore in market capitalization.
ii. Later in November 2014, its market capitalisation had surged to 5.43 lakh crore. Now, it is the second most valuable company in terms of market-capitalisation.
iii. It is also RIL’s highest market cap in its lifetime and also currently it is the most valued company on the bourses.
iv. Reliance was ranked 215th on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations as of 2016.
About Reliance
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is an Indian conglomerate holding and owns businesses across India engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications.
♦ HQ: Mumbai Maharashtra, India
♦ Founded on 1966
♦ Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

UK’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill elected to key Parliament panel
UK first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill, has been elected in the UK Parliament that examines the workings of the Home Office.
Key Points:
iPreet Kaur Gill, who won the Edgbaston seat for the Labour party on 8th June was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament.
ii. She has also been chosen to lead the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs.
iii. A veteran Indian-origin Labour MP, Virendra Sharma, was re-elected chair of the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).
iv. Preet will be one of 11 MPs on the cross-party home affairs committee, which investigates the spending, policy and administration of the ministerial department.
About UK
♦ Capital: London
♦ Currency: Pound Sterling
♦ PM: Theresa May

Smriti Irani to replace Venkaiah Naidu as new I&B Minister
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has resigned from Prime Minister NarendraModi’s Cabinet. SmritiIrani was given additional charge of the Information & Broadcast Ministry and NarendraTomar was made the Minister for Urban Development.
Key Points:
i. Narendra Tomar is currently the Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Smriti Irani to replace Venkaiah Naidu as new I&B MinisterRaj.
ii. Smriti Irani is the current Minister for Textiles.
iiiNaidu was chosen as the NDA nominee for the vice presidential election in August.
iv. The decision to nominate Naidu was taken at the BJP parliamentary party meeting.
About Venkaiah Naidu
♦ Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu was born on 1st July 1949.
♦ He is an Indian politician and the NDA candidate for the post of Vice President of India (July 2017).
♦ He served as the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Urban development and Information and Broadcasting in the Modi ministry.
♦ Constituency: Udayagiri,Andhra Pradesh

Swami Smarananandaji appointed as new Ramakrishna Mission president
Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj is elected as the 16th president of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission on 18th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The office of the president of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission was vacant following the death of Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj on 18th June.
ii. Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj taking over as the new president, the post of one vice president fell vacant and Swami Shibamayanandaji Maharaj has been given that post

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Australia and US test-fires multimillion hypersonic missile – HIFiRE
The US and Australia have jointly test-fired a hypersonic missile capable of moving at a speed eight times faster than sound as part of a $54-million research project. The test was part of a project called the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation Program (HIFiRE) involving the US and Australian militaries, Queensland University, Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group and private companies, including Boeing and BAE Systems.
i. The hypersonic missile is capable of travelling at Mach 8 – eight times faster than the speed of sound, from between 3,836mph (6,200kmh) to almost 8,000mph (13,000kmh).
ii. The very first launch of a HIFiRE flight vehicle, which simply validated the basic design, occurred in May 2009.

Govt launches low-cost screening device SOHUM to detect congenital hearing loss in newborns
On July 17, 2017, Ministry of Science and Technology launched Sohum Hearing Govt launches low-cost screening device SOHUM to detect congenital hearing loss in newbornsScreening device, a low-cost indigenous screening device to detect congenital hearing loss in newborns. The device was formally launched in New Delhi by the Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary.
i. The device has been developed by the School of International Biodesign (SIB) start-up Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt. Ltd.
ii. It was developed as part of a Department of Biotechnology project to develop new medical technologies.

Scientists develop 3D-printed soft silicone heart
Scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland have developed a 3D-printed soft silicone heart that closely resembles and functions like the human organ.
Key Notes:
i. The 3D-printed soft artificial heart is a silicone monoblock with complex inner structure.
ii. It weighs 390 gms and has a volume of 679 cubic centimetres.
iii. It is not an exact biological replica of the actual but can help to save lives of people who suffer from cardiac failure.
iv. Artificial blood pumps help to bridge the waiting time until a patient receives a donor heart or their own heart recovers.
.Researchers showed that the soft artificial heart fundamentally works and moves in a similar way to a human heart.
vi. The artificial heart has a right and a left ventricle, just like a real human heart, though they are not separated by a septum but by an additional chamber.
vii. This chamber is inflated and deflated by pressurised air and is required to pump fluid from the blood chambers, thus replacing the muscle contraction of the human heart.
viii. According to the researchers it currently lasts for about only 3,000 beats, which corresponds to a lifetime of half to three quarters of an hour.

ENVIRONMENT

New species of bird-like dinosaur identified in Canada
Canadian scientists have identified a new bird-like species of dinosaur that lived nearly 71 million years ago. It was about the size of a person.
Key Points:
i. The species was found in Alberta, has been named in honour of famous Canadian palaeontologist Philip J. Currie.
ii
. The species has been named as the Albertavenatorcurriei, which means Currie’s Alberta hunter.
iii. The bones of Albertavenatorcurriei were found in the badlands surrounding the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada.
iv. The discovery features the importance of finding and examining skeletal material from these rare dinosaurs.
v. The paper regarding the discovery of the species was published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.
About Canada
♦ Capital: Ottawa
♦ Currency: Canadian dollar
♦ PM: Justin Trudeau

SPORTS

FIFA have lifted their ban on the Sudan Football Association
World football’s governing body FIFA has lifted the ban on the Sudan Football Association (SFA).
Key Points:
i. The ban was imposed on the Sudan Football Association (SFA) for its failure to comply with its obligations stipulated in articles 14 and 19 of the FIFA Statutes.
ii. Sudan was suspended by FIFA for government interference in the country’s football after they suspended the entire Sudanese Football Association board of directors.
iii. It means that Sudan will be able to continue their campaign in the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers.
About FIFA
FIFA is responsible for the organization of football’s major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup which commenced in 1991.
♦ Formation: 21 May 1904
♦ Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
♦ President: Gianni Infantino

IMPORTANT DAYS

Nelson Mandela International Day – July 18 2017
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is celebrated every year on 18th July to honour the former Nobel Prize winner. The United Nations officially declared this day in November 2009.
Key Points:
i. Nelson Mandela  was South Africa’s first black president (1994-1999).
ii. Mandela spent 27 years in three different prisons and was an anti-Apartheid icon who led a memorable life.
iii. After he retired from politics, Mandela continued to advocate for peace and understanding, many a time through the Nelson Mandela Foundation, founded in 1999.
ivFor 67 years, Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanityas a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
v. In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
vi. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.Nelson Mandela International Day
How the Day came about?
♦ General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity.
♦ It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

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