Current Affairs Today – July 2 2017
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Mumbai’s Vikrikar Bhavan renamed as GST Bhavan
Mumbai’s ‘Vikrikar Bhavan’ was renamed as ‘GST Bhavan’ on 2nd of July 2017 after the Goods and Services Tax regime was rolled out.
i. ‘Vikrikar Bhavan’ is the headquarters of Maharashtra government’s erstwhile Sales Tax department.
ii. Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar has attended the ceremony at the Bhavan.
iii. The department has planned a helpline to assist traders and business community who have queries about the new tax regime’s implementation and modalities.
iv. In two years, the ‘GST Bhavan’ will be shifted to Wadala from Mazgaon.
v. Mr Mungantiwar said GST also means ‘Garibon ki Seva karnewala Tax’ (tax which helps the poor).
Telangana to have separate Agriculture Budget from next year
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has decided to present a separate agriculture budget for the state from next year.
i. Chief Minister Rao has also decided to substantially enhance funds for the agriculture sector.
ii. He has asked the officials to form farmers’ associations at various levels — from villages to the state — to organise the cultivators.
iii. Farmers in Telangana would be provided training of modern and scientific methods of farming so as to increase the farm output.
Quick Facts about Telangana:
♦ Capital: Hyderabad
♦ Current Chief Minister: K Chandrasekhar Rao
♦ Current Governor: E S L Narasimhan
Odisha CM Naveen inaugurates Computerisation of PACS and Rupay KCC
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated computerisation of PACS (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Socities)and launched RuPay Kisan Credit cards in the state on 1st of July 2017.
i. Odisha is the first state to implement an integrated Core Banking Solution Project.
ii. Its main aim to bring this programme to ensure transparency through technology and teamwork.
iii. It will cover all the three tiers of short term cooperative credit structure – state cooperative bank, district central cooperative banks and 2,708 primary agriculture cooperative societies.
iv. By converting the PACS as One Stop Shops the government is keen to address all requirements of the farmers.
v. Patnaik also distributed micro ATMs for dispensation of loans at the doorsteps of the farmers.
vi. With computerisation of PACS, farmers are now able to draw their sanctioned loans from the ATM network of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) having 2.14 lakh ATMs of all banks across the country.
vii. Through core banking solution (CBS) in cooperative banks and PACS, the proceeds of paddy procurement operations will be around Rs 8,000 crore credited directly to the farmers account.
viii. With the implementation of the new programme the farmers of the state are empowered to access credit through the ATM network.
ix. The CM distributed RuPay Kisan cards to farmer members of the PACS of Banki, Khurda and Bolangir CCBs.
♦ CM: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor: S.C. Jamir
♦ Capital: Bhubaneswar
BANKING & FINANCE
PNB to block all Maestro debit cards from July 31
Punjab National Bank (PNB) will block all the Maestro debit cards from 31st of July 2017 if the card holders will fail to replace it with a more secure EMV chip based card by the end of this month.
i. The bank will not charge anything for the replacement and it will be provided free of cost.
ii. The replacement is as per RBI advisory issued in 2015, asking all the banks to convert to a secured EMV chip based cards.
iii. According to the bank data it has identified that there are about one lakh customers with old Maestro debit cards and has started sending them SMSes as well.
iv. Presently, PNBs card base stands at around 5.65 crore.
v. As per RBI advisory, existing magnetic stripe only cards need to be replaced with EMV chip and pin based cards by December 31, 2018, irrespective of the validity period of the cards.
vi. From January 31, 2016 onwards, banks are directed to issue only EMV based debit and credit cards.
♦ Founded: 19th May 1894
♦ Founder: Lala Lajpat Rai
♦ HQ: New Delhi
♦ MD&CEO: Sunil Mehta
Karnataka Bank launched KBL-Image Debit Card
Karnataka Bank has launched the ‘KBL-Image Debit Card’ on 2nd of July 2017.
i. Karnataka Bank has enabled its cardholders to personalise the card with the image of his/her choice.
ii. The customers will have the option of selecting an image either from the bank’s gallery of images or any image of his/her choice to be printed on the debit card.
iii. Customers can apply through the bank’s website for this card.
About Karnataka Bank
♦ Founded: 1924
♦ HQ: Mangaluru Karnataka
♦ MD: Mahabaleshwara Bhat
65 MoUs signed at Textiles India 2017 in the presence of Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani
65 MoUs in the textiles sector were signed on July 1, 2017, the 2nd day of mega textiles trade fair, ‘Textiles India 2017’. These MoUs were signed in presence of Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.
i. MoUs were signed between various domestic and international organizations from industry and government. Of the 65 MoUs, three were Government – to – Government (G2G) MoUs, with Australia, Bangladesh and China.
ii. The MoUs signed relate to exchange of information and documentation, research & development, commercialization of handloom products and silk production, cooperation in geo textiles, skill development and supply of cotton and trade promotion with overseas partners.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Writer Preeti Shenoy bags Indian of the Year award
On June 30, 2017, writer Preeti Shenoy was awarded Indian of the Year Award by Brands Academy in New Delhi. Brands Academy is one of the most reputed branding companies in India to recognise the achievements of personalities who have contributed towards building up the reputation of the country.
About Preeti Shenoy:
i. Preeti Shenoy is one of India’s top five highest selling women authors.
ii. Shenoy’s books include “It’s All In The Planets”, “Why We Love The Way We Do”, “It Happens For A Reason”, “The One You Cannot Have” and “34 Bubblegums And Candies” among others.
Brand Academy Awards Ceremony:
♦ The award ceremony also focused on celebrating the achievements of leaders from all walks of life who contributed towards the growth and development of the nation.
♦ Besides Preeti Shenoy, other prominent winners included Deepa Malik (Paralympics Gold Winner), Kavita Krishnamurty (Singer) and Ranveer Brar (Celebrity Chef and TV Host).
Telangana IPS officer Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat gets award from US state department
Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, an IPS Officer from Telangana has been conferred with the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes Award by the US state department. Mr. Bhagwat, the current Rachakonda Police Commissioner is the third IPS officer to get the honour.
Accomplishments of Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat:
i. Mr Bhagwat was recognised for his vital role in elevating human trafficking as a government priority, and his innovative approach to investigating cases and dismantling trafficking operations.
ii. He has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the fight against organised human trafficking for the last 13 years.
iii. Bhagwat has participated in anti-trafficking operations that have removed hundreds of victims from situations of trafficking, and with the help of other government departments and civil society organisations, has ensured their placement in rehabilitation programmes.
iv. He has pioneered the use of legal provisions to close sites where trafficking is known to occur. Under his command, the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate closed 25 brothels – five hotelsand 20 residential apartments – in less than a year.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Achal Kumar Jyoti is India’s new Chief Election Commissioner
Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti will take charge as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India after current CEC Nasim Zaidi retires on July 6, 2017. Nasim Zaidi had taken over as the 20th CEC of India on April 19, 2015.
i. He assumed charge as Election Commissioner on May 13, 2015.
ii. An Election Commissioner or a Chief Election Commissioner has tenure of six years in office or till he or she attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Hong Kong’s first female leader Carrie Lam sworn in as country marks 20 years since British handover
China’s President Xi Jinping has inaugurated the new Hong Kong administration led by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the first woman to lead the city.
i. Carrie Lam was sworn in as Hong Kong’s first female leader on 1st of July 2017.
ii. Mrs. Lam was sworn as Hong Kong’s chief executive, becoming its first female leader.
iii. She is the fourth person to hold the top government post since China regained control of the former British colony in 1997.
iv. Mrs. Lam was sworn in by Mr. Xi on his final day of a three-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control.
v. She was previously the top deputy to Leung Chun-ying, the unpopular chief executive who chose not to seek a second term.
About Hong Kong
♦ Government: Multi-party system
♦ Chief Executive: Carrie Lam
♦ Chief Secretary: Matthew Cheung
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA developing first asteroid deflection mission
NASA is developing the first-ever mission that will deflect a near-Earth asteroid. It help in testing the systems that will allow mankind to protect the planet from potential cosmic body impacts in the future.
i .According to the US space agency the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is being designed and would be built and managed by the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory – is moving from concept development to preliminary design phase.
ii. DART is NASA’s first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique.
iii. It strike the asteroid to shift its orbit – to defend against a potential future asteroid impact.
iv. This approval step advances the project towards a historic test with a nonthreatening small asteroid.
v. The target for DART is an asteroid that will have a distant approach to Earth in October 2022, and then again in 2024.
vi. With DART, Scientists can show how to protect Earth from an asteroid strike with a kinetic impactor by knocking the hazardous object into a different flight path that would not threaten the planet.
vii. The asteroid is called Didymos Greek for “twin” because it is an asteroid binary system that consists of two bodies: Didymos A, about 780 metres in size, and a smaller asteroid orbiting it called Didymos B, about 160 metres in size.
viii. After launch, DART would fly to Didymos and use an APL- developed onboard autonomous targeting system to aim itself at Didymos B.
ix. Earth-based observatories would be able to see the impact and the resulting change in the orbit of Didymos B around Didymos A.
x. It will allow scientists to better determine the capabilities of kinetic impact as an asteroid mitigation strategy.
World’s sharpest laser developed in US
Scientists have developed the world’s sharpest laser with record-breaking precision. It can help in making the optical atomic clocks more precise as well as test Einstein’s theory of relativity.
i. Researchers, including those from the Physikalisch- Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany have now developed a laser with a linewidth of only 10 miliHertz (mHz) – closer to the ideal laser than ever before.
ii. This precision is useful for various applications such as optical atomic clocks, precision spectroscopy, radioastronomy and for testing the theory of relativity.
iii. Laser light is used in numerous applications in industry, medicine and information technologies.
iv. One of a laser’s outstanding properties is the excellent coherence of the emitted light.
v. For researchers, this is a measure for the light wave’s regular frequency and linewidth.
vi. Research has therefore focused on developing ever better lasers with greater frequency stability and a narrower linewidth.
vii. A joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder in the US a laser has now been developed at PTB whose linewidth is only 10 mHz (0.01 Hz).
viii. The new lasers are now being used both at PTB and at JILA in Boulder to further improve the quality of optical atomic clocks and to carry out new precision measurements on ultracold atoms.
ix. This new laser will enable to decisively improve the quality of our clocks.
Jeff Horn stuns Pacquiuao in WBO welterweight world title fight
Australia’s Jeff Horn stunned Pacquiuao to claim a unanimous 12-round decision and win the WBO world welterweight title in front of 50,000 fans at Lang Park on 2nd July 2017.
i. A 29-year-old former schoolteacher, who improved his record to 17-0-1, was awarded the win over the eight-division world champion by scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113.
ii. Pacquiao, one of the finest boxers of his generation, paid the price for a slow start and his inability to end the fight with a knockout.
iii. With blood pouring from both sides of his forehead after accidental butts, the southpaw launched a fierce assault on Horn which nearly ended the contest in round nine.
iv. Horn, who was cut above his right eye in round two, said he had been exhausted and unnerved by the Filipino’s punches.
MS Dhoni becomes first Indian batsman to hit 200 sixes in ODIs
On June 30, 2017, M S Dhoni became the first Indian batsman to hit more than 200 sixes in One Day International (ODI) cricket.
Accomplishments of M S Dhoni:
i. M S Dhoni accomplished this feat while playing a crucial unbeaten knock of 78 runs against West Indies in the third ODI in North Sound, Antigua on June 30, 2017.
ii. He has now hit 322 sixes in his international career and is fifth on the list topped by former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi (476). Chris Gayle (434), Brendon McCullum (398) and Sanath Jayasuriya (352) are the ones ahead of Dhoni.
iii. Dhoni has so far scored 9442 runs and has become the fourth highest run-getter for India in ODIs as he surpassed Mohammad Azharuddin’s 9378 runs record.
iv. Dhoni has also surpassed legendary Adam Gilchrist (9410 runs) to become second highest run-getter as a wicketkeeper-batsman. Only former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara (13341) is ahead of Dhoni now.
World Sports Journalists Day – July 2 2017
World Sports Journalists Day is a global professional observance which is held on 2nd of July.
i. It was established by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in 1994.
ii. It has been established to mark the 70th anniversary of its foundation to commemorate the creation of AIPS and to celebrate the achievements of members of the sporting media.
iii. The national and local associations of sports journalists aimed at maintaining high standards of sports journalism.
iv. It aims at encouraging sports journalists to strive for excellence in their work and to set an example to the world – not only to the world of sport, but to the world at large.
v. The International Sports Press Association, AIPS, was founded in 1924.
vi. It was founded during the Olympic Games in Paris, at the headquarters of the Sporting Club de France, by Frantz Reichel, the press chief of the Paris Games, and the Belgian Victor Boin.
vii. AIPS operates through a system of continental sub-associations and national associations with some of the world’s biggest sports federations, including the International Olympic Committee, football’s world governing body FIFA, and the IAAF.
viii. The term “sports journalism” refers to a form of writing that reports on sporting topics, it is an essential element of any news media organization.
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