Current Affairs Today – July 20 2017

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Current Affairs July 20 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Lok Sabha passes IIIT Public Private Partnership Bill 2017
A bill to grant statutory status to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode was passed through a voice vote in Lok Sabha on July 19, 2017. The Government has also mentioned that fees for the poor students will not increase and that reservation law will apply in these institutes.
i. The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government initiated the opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are already operational.
ii. The 15 IIITs that are currently operational are located in Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam), Vadodara (Gujarat), Sonipat (Haryana), Una (Himachal Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Dharwad (Karnataka), Kottayam (Kerala), Nagpur and Pune (both Maharashtra), Senapati (Manipur), Kota (Rajasthan), Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Kalyani (West Bengal).

Recent Approvals by Central government – July 19 2017
Cabinet approves MOC in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa
i. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Netherlands on cooperation in space technology
ii. Cabinet approves IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU)
iii. Cabinet approves revalidation of permission to raise Extra Budgetary Resource (EBRs) of Rs. 660 crore as Government of India Bonds by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) in 2017-18
iv. Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the promulgation of the Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu & Kashmir) Ordinance, 2017 and replacement of the Ordinance by the Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
v. National Steering Committee on Climate Change (NSCCC), under the Chairmanship of Secretary Environment Ministry, Mr Ajay Narayan Jha, approved the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) submitted by Governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Sikkim for funding under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).
vi. Cabinet approves alternative mechanism for creation and launch of a New Exchange Traded Fund

Janahitha grievance redressal system launched in Telangana
Telangana government has launched a portal “Janahithagrievance redressal system. This portal will receive complaints from the public. It has been launched on 19 July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The programme was inaugurated in Suryapet district by Telangana Energy minister G Jagadish Reddy.
ii. The portal has been developed by Telangana’s IT department, is a single window for all grievances and their redressal management.
iii. This program will bring transparency and give efforts to resolve the issues of people living in the state’s remote areas.Janahitha grievance redressal system launched in Telangana
iv. It is aimed for the public to submit their complaints online smoothly and get speedy redressal.
v. The public can also apply for various welfare schemes through the facility.
vi. The public can lodge their grievances through different means like portal, e-mail, WhatsApp or calling at the call centre from their homes.
vii. The complaint redressal process would be monitored by officials at the district headquarters and Secretariat in Hyderabad, who will send SMS to the citizens on their status.
viiii. Citizens would be notified of their complaint’s status through SMS.
ix. In cases where officials fail to redress the grievances in the set time, negative marks will be given to them.
National Park Of Telangana
♦ Mahavir Harina Vanasthali NP, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy NP, Mrugavani NP

Telangana reduces ‘education burden’, caps school bag weight
According to the Government Order, the maximum weight of a school bag with textbooks and notebooks should not exceed 1.5 kg for Class I and II and 2 to 3 kg for Classes III to V.
Key Points:
i. The Telangana government has capped the weight of their school bags between 1.5 kg and 5 kg.
ii. According to some estimates, schoolchildren currently carry bags weighing anywhere between 6 kg and 12 kg at primary level and up to 17 kg at high school level.
iii. Government has also barred schools from assigning homework to students of primary grades–I to V.
iv. The government is protecting against “adverse physical effects and anxiety disorders” caused by hefty schoolbags.
v. For Classes VI and VII, the weight should not exceed 4 kg and for Classes VIII and IX, it should not be more than 4.50 kg. In the case of Class X, it should not be more than 5 kg.
vi. According to the general guidelines schools should focus on making them understand concepts rather than make them learn by rote.
vii .Games and sports in the evenings must be encouraged rather than engaging the children just in tuition and homework.
viii .The government said there should be one notebook of 100 pages for each subject for undertaking formative assessment items such as textbook exercises and projects.
ix. Schools should provide safe drinking water to avoid children getting water bottles from their houses.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India among 5 countries that faced most terror attacks in 2016
According to a senior US counter-terror official more than half of the terror attacks in the world in 2016 took place in five countries, including India and Pakistan.
Key Points:
i.As per the Country Reports on Terrorism by the US State Department said that the total number of terror attacks in 2016 were lower than in 2015.
According to the reports:
(a) 55% of all attacks took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and the India among 5 countries that faced most terror attacks in 2016Philippines.
(b) 75%  of all deaths due to terrorist attacks took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
ii. The total number of terrorist attacks in 2016 decreased by 9% and total deaths due to terrorist attacks decreased by 13% compared to 2015.
iii. ISIS was responsible for more attacks and deaths than any other group in 2016. In 2015, it was the Taliban that was responsible for more attacks and deaths.
iv. The Terrorist attacks took place in 104 countries in 2016 and were heavily concentrated geographically.

BANKING & FINANCE

India on track to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2017: Asian Development Bank report
According to ADB India is expected to achieve the projected growth rate of 7.4% in 2017 and further up 7.6% on 2018.
Key Points:
i. According to the report, South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of 7% in 2017 and 7.2% in 2018.
ii. ADB has upgraded its growth outlook in the Asian region to 5.9% in 2017 from 5.7% and to 5.8% for 2018 from 5.7%.
iii. The growth prospects in developing Asia for 2017 have improved than expected export demand in the first quarter of this year.

 

Rs 20 notes in Mahatma Gandhi 2005 series soon: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue bank notes of denomination Rs 20 in Mahatma Gandhi series 2005. It will be similar in design to those currently in circulation.
Key Notes:
i. According to the RBI, the new notes will be bearing inset letter ‘S’ in the number panel and signature of Governor Urjit R Patel.
ii. The design of these banknotes to be issued now is similar in all aspects to the Rs 20 banknotes in the same series issued earlier.Rs 20 notes in Mahatma Gandhi 2005 series soon: RBI
iii. All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 20 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.
About RBI
HQ: Mumbai Maharashtra
♦ Established on 1st April 1935
♦ Governor: Urjit Patel
♦ RBI controls the money supply in the country.

ICRA, IIFCL launch rating system for infra projects
ICRA has launched a new system for rating of infrastructure projects in association with the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL).
Key Points:
i. The new system will focus on the overall recovery of dues by the investor and lender over the lifecycle of the project.
ii. The system has been developed that would enable more long term monies flow into the infrastructure sector.
iii. The new rating system will emphasise on the overall recovery of external funds given to the lender.
iv. The new credit rating system for infrastructure projects was being launched at a time when banks are under stress and there is a enormous need to diversify the source of funding and attract long-term monies into infrastructure projects.
ICRA :
ICRA Limited (ICRA) is an Indian independent and professional investment information and credit rating agency.
CEO : Naresh Takkar
♦ Founded‎: ‎1991
♦ Headquarters‎: ‎Gurgaon

ICICI Bank offers up to Rs 15 lakh instant personal loan via ATMs
ICICI Bank will be offering personal loans of up to Rs 15 lakh through its ATMs. It can be availed  by salaried customers even if they haven’t previously applied for one.
Key Points:
i. The lender will pre-qualify select customers for personal loans using data from credit information companies.
ii. A customer can get personal loans of upto Rs 15 lakh for a fixed tenure of 60 months.
iii. Money will get transferred to the customer’s account instantly on completion of this procedure.
iv. Customers can also avail personal loans from the Bank’s website, iMobile.
v. It will help customers receive money conveniently once they opt for a personal loan.
vi. Such customers will get a message on the ATM screen after completing a transaction, informing about their eligibility for personal loans.
vii. A customer is given multiple amounts to choose from and will be informed about other crucial details like the interest rate, processing fee and monthly instalments, before the ICICItransaction is completed by crediting the loan amount into her account.
About ICICI
♦ ICICI full form: Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India
♦ Founded: 1994
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Chairman: M.K. Sharma
♦ CEO: Chanda Kochhar

BUSINESS

Gujarat continues to have highest investment potential – NCAER study
According to the second edition of National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) State Investment Potential Index (N-SIPI 2017) reportGujarat has retained the top position in the list of 21 states and UTs with most investment potential.
i. Gujarat is followed by Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
ii. Haryana and Telangana have moved rapidly up the ranks to finish among the top five.While Gujarat topped on the indicator of economic climate and perceptions, Delhi ranked first in infrastructure.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

L K Advani receives Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in Lok Sabha
On July 19, 2017, Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha.Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav also received the Lifetime L K Advani receives Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in Lok SabhaAchievement Award as a Rajya Sabha
i. The other awardees from the Lok Sabha included Revolutionary Socialist Party MP K. Premachandran (Best Parliamentarian), Congress leader Kumari Sushmita Devi (Best Woman Parliamentarian) and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi (Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian).
ii. The awardees from the Rajya Sabha included CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury (Best Parliamentarian), Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan (Best Woman Parliamentarian) and Congress MP Rajni Patil (Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian).

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Ram Nath Kovind elected as India’s 14th President
On July 20, 2017, BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee Ram Nath Kovind was elected as the 14th President of India. Mr. Kovind defeated Opposition candidate and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
i. 71-year old Ram Nath Kovind is a lawyer from Madhya Pradesh.Before contesting presidential election, he was the Governor of Bihar.
ii. He has served as a BJP MP in the Rajya Sabha as well. He will be the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan.

Mayawati resigns from Rajya Sabha for not being allowed to raise issue of Dalit atrocities
Mayawati has resigned from the Rajya Sabha for not being allowed to speak about atrocities against Dalits on 18th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Mayawati told media persons that she had to quit as a Rajya Sabha member after deputy chairman P J Kurien asked her to stop speaking as she was exceeding the time given to Mayawati resigns from Rajya Sabha for not being allowed to raise issue of Dalit atrocitiesher.
ii. Mayawati said that She will resign from Rajya Sabha. She has no moral right to be in the House if  she has not allowed to put across her views on atrocities being committed against Dalits.
iii. Mayawati ‘s term in the Upper House is till April 2018.
iv. The decision to accept Mayawati ‘s resignation lies with the chairman. The format states that the resignation letter should be brief and should not mention the reasons.

Lady Super Star Nayanthara appointed as Brand Ambassador for Tata Sky
An Actress who is called as Lady Super Star in South is the New Brand Ambassador for Tata Sky. It has been announced on 20th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Nayanthara is a popular South Indian actress.
ii. The company currently has 17 million connections across the country . It is a country’s leading distribution platform.
Tata Sky :
♦ Tata Sky is a direct broadcast satellite television provider in India, using MPEG-4 digital compression technology, transmitting using INSAT-4A and GSAT-10 satellite
♦ Tata Sky is a joint venture between the Tata Group and 21st Century Fox

Kamal Haasan to be brand ambassador of Tamil Thalaivas
Tamil film actor Kamal Haasan has been appointed brand ambassador of Pro Kabaddi League franchise “Tamil Thalaivas”, co-owned by India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on July 19, 2017Kamal Haasan to be brand ambassador of Tamil Thalaivas
Key Points:
i. Kamal Haasan said  that he was honoured to be associated with the sport as the team makes its debut in season five of PKL.
ii. Haasan would launch the jersey of “Tamil Thalaivas” at an event.
iii. Tendulkar would be present at the function along with Telugu film stars Chiranjeevi, Allu Arjun and Ram Charan Teja.
iv. kamal Hassan appreciates that team chose him.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Google introduces recruiting app ‘Hire’ for Businesses
Google has launched ‘Hire’, a recruiting app for small- and medium-sized businesses on July 20, 2017. It also integrates seamlessly with G Suite.
Key Points:
i. According to the Berit Johnson, Senior Product Manager at Google Cloud through Hire app can help to identify talent, build strong candidate relationships and efficiently manage the interview process end-to-end.
ii. ‘Hire’ integrates seamlessly with G Suite apps like Gmail and Google Calendar that are Google introduces recruiting app 'Hire' for Businessesbeing used by over three million businesses to drive recruiting efforts.
About Google
Founders: Larry Page  and Sergey Brin
♦ HQ: Mountain view California
♦ CEO: Sundar Pichai

ENVIRONMENT

In a first, Telangana to have eco-friendly bridges for movement of tigers
The Indian state of Telangana will have eco-friendly bridges for easy movement of tigers.
Key Points:
i. The Telangana Irrigation Department has already given permit for the construction of the eco-bridges.
ii. The recommendations on the size and locations of the bridges are awaited from the National Board of Wildlife.
iii. Telangana will have eco-friendly bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the forests in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.
iv. The eco-bridges will be constructed at key spots along the 72 km-long right flank canal of the Pranahita barrage in the Bejjur and Dahegaon mandals.
v. The process requires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is disguised.
vi. One of the locations tentatively assigned for the eco-bridge is a spot close to Sulgupalli in the Bejjur forest range.
vii. In this area, the canal is over a kilometre wide, and need to ease the movement of wild animals.
viii. The concept of building eco-bridges came up after visits by experts from the Wildlife Board of India and the Wildlife Institute of India.
ix. The TATR and its buffer area, which are adjacent to the Sirpur forests, boast of a speedily multiplying tiger population.
x. It turns out to be the cause of the frequent migration of tigers into Sirpur and Bejjur.
About Telangana
♦ 
Capital: Hyderabad
♦ CM: K. Chandrashekar Rao
♦ Governor: E.S.L. Narasimhan

OBITUARY

Actor-songwriter Red West dies at 81
Red West, an Actor-song writer died at the age of 81 in USA on July 18, 2017. He was best known for his role as Red alongside Patrick Swayze in “Road House”, and a longtime friend and songwriting partner of Elvis Presley
Key Points:Actor-songwriter Red West dies at 81
i. As a songwriter, he co-wrote “Separate Ways” for Elvis in 1972. The song was the title of an Elvis album released on RCA’s budget album line.
ii. His most memorable role was as Red Webster in 1989’s “Road House” opposite Patrick Swayze.
iii. His other feature credits include “The Rainmaker” (1997), “Goodbye Solo” (2008), and most recently, 2013’s “Safe Haven.”

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