Current Affairs Today – July 22 2017

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Current Affairs Today July 22 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed in Lok Sabha
On July 21, 2017, Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017, a bill amending the law on free and compulsory education to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment was passed in Lok Sabha.Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed in Lok Sabha
i. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr. Prakash Javadekar in Lok Sabha on April 10, 2017.
ii. The Bill adds a provision to Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 by stating that those teachers who do not possess the minimum qualifications as on March 31, 2015 will acquire the minimum qualifications within a period of four years i.e. by March 31, 2019.

Ministry of Rural Development to launch Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana
The Ministry of Rural Development will launch a new sub-scheme under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) which will be named as “Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY)”.
i. As mentioned by Minister of State for Rural Development, Ram Kripal Yadav the main objectives of AGEY are to provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) under DAY-NRLM by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas.
ii. This sub-scheme will be implemented in 250 blocks in the country on a pilot basis for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

India to host Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017 – World’s Largest Conference on Cyber Space
India will be hosting the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) in 2017. It is one of the world’s largest two day conference on Cyber Space.
Key Points:
i. The theme of Cyber4All is “An Inclusive, Sustainable, Developmental, Safe and Secure Cyberspace” . The theme of this conference reflects the changing architecture of India in the Digital space.
ii. The GCCS 2017 will take place on the 23rd and 24th of November, 2017 in Aero City, New Delhi.
iii. The GCCS 2017 will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri NarendraModi. 
iv. The 4th version of GCCS 2015 was held on April 16-17, 2015 in The Hague, Netherlands.
v. It can help to provide vision of inclusive digital society for inclusive growth, education, India to host Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017 – World’s Largest Conference on Cyber Spacehealthcare especially for developing world.
vi. Cyber security will be one of the major focus areas in GCCS 2017.
vii. The central government is in the process of setting up separate sector specific emergency response centres to ensure cyber security and strengthen technology infrastructure.
viii. There is a participation of around 2000 delegates from senior Government officials, industry leaders, academia and civil society from over 100 countries.
ix. GCCS will assemble and deliberate on issues relating to promotion of cooperation in cyberspace, norms for responsible behaviour in cyberspace and to enhance cyber capacity building.
x. The Goal of GCCS 2017 is to promote an inclusive Cyber Space with focus on policies and frameworks for inclusivity, sustainability, development, security and safety.

Cabinet approves revision of Indian Community Welfare Fund guidelines
The Union Cabinet has approved revision of the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) guidelines. It has been approved on 19th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The approval was granted during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ii. The guidelines would cover three key areas namely:
(a)Community Welfare activities
(b)Improvement in Consular services
(c)Assisting Overseas Indian nationals in distress situations
iii .The scale and speed of these evacuations and assistance provide through the Fund has been universally appreciated.
iv. It has also created a sense of confidence among the migrant workers going overseas about the support they can expect from India during critical times.
About Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)
ICWF was formed in 2009. Its aim is to assist Overseas Indian nationals in times of distress and emergency in the most deserving cases on a means tested basis.
♦ ICWF stands extended to all Indian Missions and Posts abroad and is primarily funded by levying service charge on various consular services rendered by Indian Missions and Posts abroad.
♦ It provides critical support in emergency evacuation of Indian nationals in conflict zones in Libya, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan.
♦ It has also give assistance to undocumented Indian workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Nitaqat drive in 2013 and the ongoing Amnesty drive in 2017.

Centre accepts proposal to set up Aerospace University
The Centre has accepted a proposal to set up an Aerospace University in India. It has been announced on 22nd July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The detailed project report on setting up the Aerospace University has been approved.
ii. A high-powered Expert Group headed by former Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi has made the recommendation.
♦ Minister of state for Defence: Subhash Bhamra

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India, China, Pakistan among 10 nations accounting for 95% of HIV infections – UN report
As per a report titled ‘Ending AIDS: Progress towards the 90-90-90 targets’ by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDSUNAIDS, India, China and Pakistan are among the 10 countries that accounted for more than 95% of all new HIV infections in the Asia and the Pacific region in 2016.
i. The report gives a comprehensive analysis of the 2014 targets to accelerate progress so that by 2020, 90% of all HIV-infected people know their status, 90% of all HIV-diagnosed people are accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90% of those taking ART are virally suppressed.
ii. However, the report has identified India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia as top 10 countries which together accounted for more than 95% of all new HIV infections in the region in 2016.

UN selects Dubai as Data Hub for MENASA region
The UN has selected Dubai as the data hub for the Middle East North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region.UN selects Dubai as Data Hub for MENASA region
Key Points:
i. The work is under process to prepare Dubai as the regional city data hub.
ii. Dubai has launched a series of comprehensive and integrated initiatives to mine and manage the city’s data.
iii
. It will also serve as a dedicated platform for city-to- city learning and solutions transfer across metropolitan, national and global contexts.
iv. The designation will be part of a portfolio of local and regional data portals, analytics and reports to engage stakeholders and help to accelerate progress.
v. Dubai Data Establishment has worked to build sound city-wide data infrastructure in Dubai.
vi. Throughthis advanced infrastructure Dubai has firmly put on the international smart development map.
About Dubai
♦ 
Dubai is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf.
♦ Dubai Most Famous Places : Burj Khalifa, Desert Safari

BANKING & FINANCE

Karnataka Bank launches “Met Loan & Life Suraksha”
Karnataka Bank has launched a Met Loan & Life Suraksha” (MLLS) for its customers. It has been announced on 20th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. It is a single premium plan covering the loan liability of a customer.
ii. This new product will be available across all the 769 branches of the bank for its borrower clients.
iii. The bank also introduced ‘KBL MLLS’ app, which marks the celebration of 15 years of partnership with M/s PNB MetLife.
iv. This app is entirely for the Karnataka Bank employees to instantly calculate the insurance cover and premium-based on loan liability of their borrowers.
Karnataka Bank launches “Met Loan & Life Suraksha”v. The stock was trading at Rs 158.25, down by 0.22% on BSE at 0950 hours. It opened at Rs 161.
About Karnataka Bank
Founded on 1924
♦  Headquarters:Mangaluru, Karnataka
Tagline :  Your Family Bank, Across India.
♦  MD :Mahabaleshwara Bhat M S

BUSINESS

40% Fortune 500 corporates are Asian, 7 Indian companies in the list
197 Asian companies have featured in the latest edition of the Fortune Global 500 list, which ranks companies by their revenues in 2016.
♦ With 197 companies (nearly 40%) on the list Asia is now home to more of these global giants than any other continent, followed by North America (145) and Europe (143). The rest of the world has a mere 15 companies on the list.
Fortune Global 500 list– Top 5:

RankCompanyCountry of Origin
1WalmartUS
2State GridChina
3SinopecChina
4China PetroleumChina
5Toyota MotorJapan

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Toronto Film Festival Gala to Honor Priyanka Chopra
The Toronto Film Festival is set to honour Priyanka Chopra. She will be the guest of honour at the fundraiser event on 6th of September, 2018
Key Points:
i. The Toronto Film Festival will begin from 7th Sept to 17th September, 2017 in Canada
ii. The TIFF gala is aimed at collecting funds that will be used for helping fund talent development programs to get more women behind and in front of the camera.
iii. Toronto will also be honouring the Mary Kom star for her activism of devoting time to UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador and the Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education.
iv. Priyanka Chopra was also nominated Villain category at the Teen Choice 2017 awards.
v. Earlier, Chopra has represented her Bollywood movies such as Mary Kom and what’s Your Raashee in 2004 and 2009, respectively to the Toronto festival.
vi. She has also made her Hollywood debut in the movie Baywatch

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Sanjay Kothari appointed Secretary to new President Ram Nath Kovind
Sanjay Kothari a Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as Secretary to President-elect Ram NathKovind.
Key Points:
i. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister NarendraModi, has cleared these appointments for an initial period of two years.
ii. Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June last year as DoPT secretary.
iii. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of the government’s head-hunter the PESB.
iv. Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been named as Press Secretary to Kovind.
v. Malik is at present a Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation — a policy think tank.
vi. Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary to Kovind.
vii. Lal, a 1988-batch officer of Indian Forest Service, is at present Resident Commissioner of Gujarat government in Delhi.

Brenda Hale appointed as UK supreme court’s first female president
Brenda Hale has been appointed as the first female president of the UK Supreme Court.
Key Points:
i. It was announced on 21st of July 2017 and she will take up her position on 2nd October, when she will be sworn in as president.
ii. Hale joined the Supreme Court in 2009 and is among the last of the judges who can serve to 75.
iii. She became a judge before rules were changed in 1995 to make retiring at 70 mandatory.
iv. She will earn £225,000 a year as the head of the court.
v. She was born in Yorkshire in 1945. She went to a state school, Richmond high school for girls, and then to Girton College, Cambridge.
vi. She joined the University of Manchester law faculty as a junior lecturer.
vii. She was also the first woman and youngest person to be appointed to the Law Commission.
viii. In 1989, she was appointed Queen’s Counsel and in 1994 she became a high court judge.
Brenda Hale appointed as UK supreme court's first female presidentix. In June 2013, she was appointed deputy president of the Supreme Court.
Rivers of UK
♦ 
River Severn :Wales/England
♦ River Thames:England
♦ RiverTrent:England
♦ River Great Ouse:England
♦ River Wye Wales:England

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

SBI and Carlyle to jointly acquire GE Capital’s stake in SBI Card
State Bank of India (SBI), the Carlyle Group and GE have announced that they have signed definitive agreements.
Key Points:
i. Under this agreement SBI and Carlyle Group will acquire GE Capital’s entire stake in SBI Card, the second-largest credit card franchise in India.
ii. SBI Card is operated through two joint venture companies, SBI Cards & Payment Services and GE Capital Business Process Management Services.
iii. Their work is to issue credit cards and process card transactions in the Indian market.
iv.SBI and Carlyle will own 74% and 26% respectively in each of the two entities.
v. Currently, SBI holds 60% in SBI Cards & Payment Services and 40% in GE Capital Business Process Management.
vi. According to Carlyle Group the transaction is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2017.

Eurofins to buy Advinus from Tatas
Eurofins Scientific is acquiring Advinus Therapeutics from the Tata Group. Eurofins Scientific is the world leader in food, environment and pharmaceutical products testing and a Luxembourg-based group of laboratories.
Key Points:
i. Eurofins, with revenues of 2.54 billion euros and 30,000 employees, operates in 41 countries including in India.
ii. According to its 2015-16 annual report Group holding company Tata Sons Ltd holds a 67.31% stake in Advinus.
iiiAdvinus was started by the Tata group in 2005 as a research outsourcing company with Rashmi Barbhaiya, the former research and development head of Ranbaxy Eurofins to buy Advinus from Tatas Eurofins Scientific is acquiring Advinus Therapeutics from the Tata Group. Eurofins Scientific is the world leader in food, environment and pharmaceutical products testing and a Luxembourg-based group of laboratories. Key Points: i. Eurofins, with revenues of 2.54 billion euros and 30,000 employees, operates in 41 countries including in India. ii. According to its 2015-16 annual report Group holding company Tata Sons Ltd holds a 67.31% stake in Advinus. iii. Advinus was started by the Tata group in 2005 as a research outsourcing company with Rashmi Barbhaiya, the former research and development head of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. iv. For fiscal year 2015-16, the company reported a loss of Rs17.30 crore on a turnover of Rs160 crore. v. Advinus has submitted over 50 end-to-end investigational new drug applications to global regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK and Health Canada.Laboratories Ltd.
iv. For fiscal year 2015-16, the company reported a loss of Rs17.30 crore on a turnover of Rs160 crore.
v. Advinus has submitted over 50 end-to-end investigational new drug applications to global regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK and Health Canada.

ENVIRONMENT

Castor plant can reduce soil pollution
A study has been conducted by researchers from University of Hyderabad’s plant sciences department highlights Castor plants can reduce the soil which is highly polluted with heavy metals due to industrial pollution.
Key Points:
i. Castor oil is also known as ‘Arandikatel’ in Hindi and ‘Amudham’ in Telugu.
ii. Castor seed plant is known to be one of the most substantial plants which has been observed growing in areas where the soil is highly polluted, including in areas where mining is carried out.
iii. Castor plants growing in these areas absorb toxic heavy metals from soil.
iv. The study by UoH scholar reports that when the castor bean plants growing in industrial areas were tested, roots of the plants were seen to contain lead in as high as 19.53 milligrams per gram of the root.Castor plant can reduce soil pollution
v. Even leaves and stem of the plant were found to be containing lead but in smaller quantities.
vi. Castor plant has also been observed to speed up the remedy of polluted soils due to presence of some chemicals in them known as chelators.
vii. It enhances the capability of castor bean plant to accumulate heavy metals.
viii. It has been observed that Castor bean plants over a period of time reduced the levels of heavy metals in the soil.

SPORTS

Chennai Open renamed to Maharashtra Open, to be held in Pune
According to PTI, for the first time in 21 years Chennai will not host India’s lone ATP tour tournament. The competition will now be held in Pune and called “Maharashtra Open.”
Key Points:
i. According to the report, the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association would not be able to host the tournament this year because of its inability to match the financial requirement of main organiser IMG.
ii. The Chennai Open is an ATP-250 tournament and one of the most important fixtures in the Indian sporting calendar.
iii. It has often attracted top players including 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
iv. Marin Cilica Wimbledon 2017 runner up and Stan Wawrinka 2016 US Open champion have also played in the Chennai Open in their early days.
Maharashtra GK Facts:
♦ Power Plants: Koradi Thermal Power Station, Paras Thermal Power Station
♦ Airports: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport

OBITUARY

Ex-MP Shivajirao Patil passes away
Senior Congress leader Shivajirao Patil, passed away on 22nd of July 2017 after a brief illness.He was 92.
Key Points:
i. Patil was a former MP and also a former member of the Maharashtra Legislature and the state cabinet.
Ex-MP Shivajirao Patil passes awayii. He was a member of the Maharashtra ministries headed by Vasantrao Naik, Shankarrao Chavan and Vasantdada Patil.
iii. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2013.
iv. He was a member of the RajyaSabha during 1992-98, an MLC from 1960 to 67 and an MLA for three consecutive terms from 1967 to 1980.

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