Current Affairs Today – July 24 2017

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Current Affairs July24 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

FM Arun Jaitley introduces bill to amend Banking Regulation Act
On July 24, 2017, The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017, was introduced in Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The bill seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, which was promulgated in May 2017.
i. Jaitley introduced the Bill amid protests in the House by opposition members over the alleged incidents of lynching by cow vigilantes in different parts of the country.
ii. The bill also has a provision, which empowers RBI to issue other directions for resolution, appoint or approve for appointment, authorities or committees to advise the banking companies for stressed asset resolution.

Arun Jaitley inaugurates 315th Sainik Rest House in New Delhi
Arun Jaitley,a Defence Minister has inaugurated the 315th Sainik Rest House of the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) in New Delhi.
Key Points:
i. It aimed to provide facilities for former servicemen.
ii .Jaitley has also launched the new portal of the Sainik Rest House.
iii. The rest house, built at Naraina tri-junction near Delhi Cantonment area in west Delhi at a cost of around Rs 8 crore, would be the beginning of an initiative.Arun Jaitley inaugurates 315th Sainik Rest House in New Delhi
iv. The KSB will be able to expand on these in the coming years so that such facilities become an integral part of facilities for ex-servicemen.
v. The facilities which have been created are extremely hygienic and very liveable.
vi. The KSB portal lists out details, facilities, restrictions for use of the rest house and would soon provide facility for online payment.
vii. Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Prabhu Dayal Meena, Secretary (KSB) Brigadier M.H. Rizvi, senior officials of armed forces and from the Ministry of Defence were present on the occasion.

Kerala host literary fest with “Tolerance” as theme
Kerala will be going to host the 5th edition of South India Writers Ensemble (SIWE) at Chengannur in coastal Alappuzha district from 24 July 2017.
Key Points:
i. It is a three-day annual literary event and organised by People for Performing Arts and More, an art and cultural outfit.
ii. The theme of the festival 2017 is ‘tolerance’.
iii. Its main aim is to bring an enhance interaction between writers from different languages and regions.
ivHindi has been selected as the main language of this year’s festival.
v. It would include participation from related writers and other personalities like Creative writers, journalists, theatre and film personalities will deliberate on tolerance at a literary event.
vi. The festival would be inaugurated by a well-known Hindi author, UdayanVajpeyi.
vii. The main aim of South India Writers Ensemble (SIWE) is to explore the power of language and literature through the gathering of writers.
viii. The festival would conclude on 26th July 2017.
About Kerala
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Governor: P. Sathasivam
♦ Chief Minister :Pinarayi Vijayan

India, Bangladesh sign pact to connect both countries by waterways
India and Bangladesh have signed a pact to connect both the countries by waterways announced on 24th of July 2017.
Key facts:
i. The waterways will facilitate movement of passengers and goods between India’s northeast and West Bengal with Bangladesh.
ii. The services are expected to start by the end of this year.
iii. Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya First director container to Bangladeshhas said in his statement in Agartala that infrastructure for the services would be set up along the major rivers in Bangladesh.
About Bangladesh
♦ Capital : Dhaka.
♦ Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina.
♦ President:Abdul Hamid

Government withdraws Architects (amendment) bill 2010 from Rajya Sabha
The government has withdrawn from the Rajya Sabha a bill to amend the Architects Act, 1972 which provides for registration of architects. It has been announced on 24th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The Act empowers the government to set up a Council of Architecture.
ii. It may prescribe the minimum standards of architectural education in India and maintain the register of architects.
iii. The bill was first introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 by the previous government which was later referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development. The panel is yet to submit its report.
iv. The bill has been withdrawn as the government seeks to redraft it with further amendments to the Act.
About Rajya Sabha :
♦ The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India.
♦ Rajya Sabha has maximum  250 members.
♦ The President can appoint 12 members for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

World’s 1st floating wind farm starts to take shape off coast of Scotland
The world’s first full-scale floating wind farm has started to take shape off the north-east coast of Scotland announced on 24th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The Peter head wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial. It will bring power to 20,000 homes.
ii. It is a tech development project to ensure it’s working in open sea conditions
Scotland:
♦ Capital: Edinburgh
♦ Currency: Pound sterling

Iran and Iraq sign accord to boost military cooperation
Iran and Iraq has signed an agreement to boost military cooperation and the fight against terrorism and extremism on 23th of July 2017.
Key Notes:
i. Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan and his Iraqi counterpart Erfan al-Hiyalihas signed a memorandum of understanding which has covered border security, logistics and training.
ii. The provisions of this memorandum includes extending cooperation and exchanging experiences in fighting terrorism and extremism, border security, and educational, logistical, technical and military support.
iii. Iran-Iraq ties have improved since Iran’s long-time enemy Saddam Hussein was overturned in 2003 and an Iraqi government led by Shi’ite Muslims came to power.
ivIran has announced the launch of a new missile production line against a backdrop of tension between the United States and Tehran.
v. The Sayyad 3 missile can reach an altitude of 27 km (16 miles) and travel up to 120 km (74 miles).
vi. The missile can target fighter planes, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and helicopter.
vii. U.S. President Donald Trump has raised concern over the growing Iranian influence in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, where it is aligned with Shi’ite fighters.
About Iran
♦ Capital :Tehran
♦ Currency :Rial
♦ President :Hassan Rouhani
♦  Vice President :Eshaq Jahangiri

BANKING & FINANCE

IMF keeps India’s growth forecast at 7.2% for 2017-18
In latest update of World Economic Outlook released by International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 24, 2017, economic growth outlook for India has been kept unchanged at 7.2% in 2017-18 and 7.7% in 2018-19.
i. In its first downgrade for the United Kingdom (UK) since the EU referendum in June 2016, the IMF said it expected the British economy to expand by 1.7% this year, 0.3 points lower than the previous forecast in April 2017.
ii. IMF has also lowered its growth forecast for US to 2.1% in 2017 as well as in 2018.IMF has kept its outlook for global growth unchanged at 3.5% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018.

BUSINESS

AAI, Uttarakhand Govt ink MoU on aviation development
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed a MoU with Government of Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA). The MoU has been signed on 21st of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The scope of the MoU is to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand.
ii. It will assess the commercial potential of various airports of the State, identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the State, evaluating site related technical New Chairman for Airports Authority of Indiaand engineering parameters for development of projects.
iii. AAI will also assist UCADA in obtaining necessary clearances for airport operations starting with the upgraded airport at Pithoragarh and later at Chiniyalisaur.
About Uttarakhand:
♦ Capital  : Dehradun.
♦ Governor :Krishan Kant Paul .
♦ Chief Minister :Trivendra Singh Rawat.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

CCEA gives in-principle approval for selling 51% stake in HPCL to ONGC
The Cabinet has given an in-principle approval to sell the government’s entire 51.11% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd to Oil and Natural Gas Corp. It has been announced on 24th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. It is buying out government’s entire 51.11% stake in fuel retailing and marketing company Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. HPCL will continue to be a separate listed company.
ii. Government is 51% owner of HPCL and 68% owner of ONGC so, if one of the companies keeps the shares of the other, it is a related party transaction.
iii. Government will indirectly hold stake in the company.
ivHPCL will add 23.8 million tonnes of annual oil refining capacity to ONGC’s portfolio, making it the third-largest refiner in the country after IOC and Reliance Industries.
v. ONGC already is majority owner of MRPL, which has a 15- million tons refinery.
vi. The combined market value of ONGC and HPCL would be $42 billion.
vii. ONGC, which produces 60 %of the country’s crude oil, will also become the nation’s third-largest refiner controlling over 40 million tonnes per annum of refining capacity.
viii. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will head a 3-member ministerial panel to oversee and precipitate the sale of government stake in oil refiner HPCL to explorer ONGC.
ix. Pradhan and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will be part of the ministerial panel.
x. The merger will be completed within the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2018.
xi. For overseeing this transaction, CCEA has approved the setting up of an alternative mechanism that will help in taking quick decision with regard to the timing, price, terms and conditions and other related issues.
xii. After the acquisition by ONGC, HPCL will continue to be a central government public sector enterprise.
Some Quick facts:
♦ ONGC chairman:Dinesh K Sarraf.
♦ HPCL chairman:Nishi Vasudeva

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Govt launches ‘SHe-Box’ portal for Sexual harassment
The Women and Child Development ministry has launched an online platform on 24th of July to enable women employees of the central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the workplace.
Key Points:
i. The WCD minister also directed the officials to make the ‘SHe-box'(sexual harassment electronic box) as “interactive” as possible.
ii. The platform will provide to central government employees in the beginning and thereafter, its scope will be widened to include the private sector as well.Govt launches 'SHe-Box' portal for Sexual harassment
iii. The online complaint management system — SHe-box (sexual harassment electronic box) hosted on the website of the Women and Child Development Ministry.
iv. Once a complaint is submitted to the SHe-Box, it will be directly sent to the internal complaints committee (ICC) of the ministry, department, PSU, autonomous body.
v. The portal should offer a list of follow-up details so that the employee gets to know the exact status of the complaint.
vi. It also seeks to ensure “effective implementation” of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

“Mobile App for Road Maintenance “Aarambh”launched
The Union Minister Shri Tomar and the ILO Deputy Director General (Policy) International Labour Organization Ms. Deborah Greenfield has launched the Mobile App for Road Maintenance “Aarambh”. It has been announced on 24th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Its usage will enhance the service delivery of the state level institutions in planning and implementing performance based rural roads maintenance contracts.
ii. The newly launched mobile application would simplify the maintenance management of rural roads.
iii. This Mobile Phone App aims at use of GIS based mapping for making road inventories, condition surveys, and producing cost estimates and other relevant data for preparation and monitoring of annual road maintenance plans.
iv. The Minister recapitulates the resolve of Government of India to connect all eligible habitations in rural areas by constructing good quality roads by 2019.
v. The States are being encouraged to put a robust mechanism so that it will ensure routine and periodic maintenance of these roads.

ENVIRONMENT

US biologists discover three new toad species
Scientists have discovered a three new species of toads living in Nevada’s Great Basin in the US.It has been announced on 24th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The toads are found in small, wet habitats surrounded by high-desert.
ii. The toads are small in size, yet each toad is of unique physical features that differ from each other, as well as other toads in the region.
iii. The discoveries of new amphibians are extremely rare in the US with only three new frog species discovered since 1985.
iv. The toad species are very rare, with the last species discovered north of Mexico, the now extinct Wyoming toad, in 1968.
v. The three new species, the Dixie Valley toad, Railroad Valley toad and Hot Creek toad are not connected geographically. 
vi. The Dixie Valley toad is a pretty toad, with flecks of gold on an olive background.
vii. The Dixie Valley toad is only found in an isolated spring-fed marsh which make up less than four square miles surrounded by an arid region where aquatic resources are both rare and widely scattered.
viii. The Railroad Valley toad is in the Tonopah Basin in the central Nevada desert.
ix. The Hot Creek Toad is in the Hot Creek Mountain Range, in a drainage isolated from the Railroad Valley toad.
x. All three new species are natives of the Great Basin in Nevada. The findings were published in the journal Zootaxa.

SPORTS

Indian team won 5 medals at World Para Athletics Championships 2017, London
Eighth edition of World Para Athletics Championships was held in London, UK from 14th to 23rd July, 2017.It was organized by the World Para Athletics subcommittee of the International Paralympic Committee.
India ranked at 34th position on medal table. Indian team won 5 medals (1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze) in this championship.
i. Indian Para-athlete Sundar Singh Gurjar became second Indian to win gold at the World Para Athletics Championships.
ii. India’s Amit Kumar Saroha clinched a silver medal in men’s club throw competition, Discus-thrower Karamjyoti Dalal won a Bronze medal, High jumpers Sharad Kumar and Varun Bhati won silver and bronze medal respectively
World Para Athletics Championships 2017 – Medal Table – Top 3:

CountryGoldSilverBronzeTotal
China30171865
United States20192059
Great Britain1881339

England beat India to won ICC women world cup 2017
The women’s cricket team from England beat India by 9 runs on 24th of July 2017.
Key Notes:
i. The ICC Women World Cup 2017 held at Lord’s Cricket Ground at London.The 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup was the eleventh edition of the Cup.
ii. It was England’s fourth Women’s World Cup title.England had won the World Cup in 1993 and 2009 as well.
iii. The Player of the Series title has been awarded to Tammy Beaumont of England. She had made most runs, 410 in the tournament.
iv.The Player of the match has been awarded to Anya Shrubose. She is from England.
vDane van Niekerk of South Africa took most wickets in the tournament. The total wickets she took in the tournament were 15.
vi. The 2021 women’s world cup will be held at New Zealand.
About ICC Women’s World CupEngland beat India to won ICC women world cup 2017
The Women’s Cricket World Cup organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
♦ Australia has won the women’s cricket world Cup for record six times followed by England had won 4 times and New Zealand won one time.
♦ India’s Captain: Mithali Raj
♦ England’s Captain: Heather Knight
♦ The first edition was held in England in 1973.

H S Prannoy wins US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton title
Indian Shuttler H S Prannoy has won the US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament title on 24th July 2017.
Key facts:
i. He has defeated his compatriot Parupalli Kashyap.
ii. It was held at Anaheim, California USA.
iii. Prannoy beat Kashyap by 21-15, 20-22, 21-12.Hehad found a place in the final after defeating Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen.
iv. Kashyap beat Korean Kwang Hee Heo in the semi-finals.
v. In the women’s singles of the tournament, Japanese Aya Ohoriwon the final. She has defeated Michelle Li of Canada.

Boxer Sachin Siwach wins Gold at Commonwealth Youth Games
World Youth Champion Sachin Siwach had won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games on 23th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Sachin had defeated Welsh boxer James Nathan Prober 4-1 in the final of the light flyweight 49 category.
ii. Siwach was the only one of the 103 boxers to have clinched gold in the tournament.
iii. The Commonwealth Youth Games held in Nassau Bahamas. The game will be held Boxer Sachin Siwach wins Gold at Commonwealth Youth Gamesfrom 18th July to 23rd July 2017.
iv. Jony had settled with for silver in the lightweight (60kg) category. Jony lost 2-3 to Australian Ella Jade Boot in the summit clash.
vMuhammed Etash Khan had to be settled with a bronze medal in the bantamweight (56kg) division after losing in the semi-finals.
vi. Khan went down 2-3 to England’s Reuben Shiloh Defreitas.
viiEngland has topped the medal table and has won total 51 medals following Australia at no. 2ndpostion with 39 medals, New Zealand at no. 3rd position with 31 medals and Scotland at 4th position with 21 medals.
viii. India is at 7th position with total 11 medals Gold-4, Silver-1, Bronze-11.
About Commonwealth Youth Games :
The 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games will be the sixth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games which started in 2000.
♦ Nations participating: 64
♦ Athletes participating: 1034
♦ Events: 96

OBITUARY

Professor UR Rao, ex-Isro chief and renowned space scientist passes away
Internationally-renowned space scientist UR Rao passed away on July 24, 2017 due to age-related health issues. He was 85.
i. The first Indian satellite ‘Aryabhata’ was launched in 1975 under his watch.He served as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for about 10 years between 1984 to 1994.
ii. Rao was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 for his contribution to Indian space technology.

Former HP Chief secretary Sudripta Roy passes away
Former Himachal Pradesh chief secretary Sudripta Roy died at the age of 63.
Key Points:Former HP Chief Secy Sudripta Roy passes away
i. Roy was a 1978 batch IAS officer. He was died after the brief illness.
ii. He had assumed the office of the chief Secretary of HP in May 2012 to 2014.
About HP :
♦ Capital : Shimla
♦ Governor :Acharya DevVrat
♦ Chief Minister :Virbhadra Singh

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