Current Affairs Today – July 26 2017

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Current Affairs July 26 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill 2017 passed in Rajya Sabha
On July 26, 2017, Rajya Sabha passed Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which seeks to amend the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008. The amendment bill was introduced by the ‎Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr. D.V.Sadananda Gowda in Lok Sabha in March 2017 and was passed in April 2017.
i. The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, demographics, social, scientific and environmental aspects.
ii. The Act extended to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.

Lucknow Metro to be India’s first metro with own FM Station & to offer free water and toilet facilities
India’s first Lucknow metro network to offer free drinking water and toilet facilities and will also become the first in the country to have its own FM radio station. It has been announced on 24th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. It will also provide free -WiFi at all stations to commuters with a ‘Go Smart’ card.
ii. Lucknow Metro is expected to cover 140 km in the city in a total of four phases over the next 25 years, operating two routes, from North to South and East to West.
iii. It is reported that Lucknow will be the fastest built metro system in the world and the most economical high speed rapid transit system project in India.Lucknow Metro to be India's first metro with own FM Station
iv. It will operate alongside a partnership with a private radio station to provide information regarding metro safety as well as on and off board entertainment.
v. At the 5th Annual Metro Rail Summit held in New Delhi in 2016, Lucknow Metro was awarded ‘Best Metro for Excellence in Innovative Designs’.
vi. It has beated other states’ metro projects, including Delhi Metro, Mumbai Metro and Jaipur Metro.
vii. In the same year, the metro was also awarded with the European Society for Quality Research (ESQR) Choice Prize Award 2016 under the Gold category.
Lucknow Heritage Sites:
♦ Begum Hazrat Mahal Park: Situated in the heart of the city, the Begum Hazrat Mahal Park was built in the memory of the beautiful Queen of Awadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal.
♦ Rumi Darwaza : The Rumi Darwaza is a 60-foot-tall gateway located close to historical landmarks such as Bada Imambara and Chota Imambara in the city of Lucknow.
♦ Bada Imambara: Located at the bank of Gomti River in Lucknow, this historic tomb was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784.

Madras HC makes Vande Mataram mandatory in Schools, Govt. and Private Offices
Madras High Court has ruled that Vande Mataram should be sung in all schools and colleges across the state “at least once a week” and in government and private offices “at least once a month”. The order has been issued on 25th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The order has been issued by Justice M V Muralidharan. ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be played and sung in all schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions at least once a week (preferably on Monday or Friday).
ii. According to the court if people feel it is difficult to sing the song in Bengali or in Sanskrit, steps can be taken to translate the song in Tamil.
iii. It has also been added that in the event, any person or organisation has difficulty in singing or playing the national song, he or she shall not be compelled or forced to sing it, provided there are valid reasons for not doing so.
iv. The main reason Madras HC made Vande Mataram compulsory in all schools and organisations because K. Veernamani had lost minimum eligibility test by 1 mark.
v. The court has also mentioned that Patriotism is an essential requirement for every citizen of this country. Several people have sacrificed their lives and families to the independence struggle.
vi. In those tough times, it was songs like our national song Vande Mataram which created a sense of belief and confidence in people

GST Council panel to select National Anti-profiteering Authority
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has formed a selection committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha to identify and recommend eligible persons for appointment as the chairman and members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority.
Mandate and Composition of National Anti-profiteering Authority:
i. The National Anti-profiteering Authority shall be responsible for applying anti-profiteering measures in the event of a reduction in rate of GST on supply of goods or services or, if the benefit of input tax credit is not passed on to the recipients by way of commensurate reduction in prices.
ii. Applications seeking to invoke anti-profiteering measures shall be examined by a Standing Committee.
iii. The Standing Committee is empowered to refer cases requiring detailed enquiry to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rolled out from July 1Director General of Safeguards, Central Board of Excise and Customs who shall give his/her recommendation for consideration of the National Anti-profiteering Authority.
iv. If the National Anti-profiteering Authority confirms the necessity of applying anti-profiteering measures, it has the power to order the business concerned to reduce its prices or return the undue benefit availed along with the interest to the recipient of the goods or services.
v. If the undue benefit cannot be passed on to the recipient, it can be ordered to be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund.
vi. In extreme cases the National Anti-profiteering Authority can impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity and even order the cancellation of its registration under GST
vii. The National Anti-profiteering Authority is to be headed by a senior officer of the level of a secretary to the government of India and is to have four technical members from the Centre and/or the states, according to the provisions of the law.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India will need $4.5 trillion by 2040 for infrastructure – Global Infrastructure Outlook
As per `Global Infrastructure Outlook’ released by Global Infrastructure Hub (GIH), India will need investments to the tune of around USD 4.5 trillion till 2040 to develop infrastructure to improve economic growth and community wellbeing. The report is based on an intensive study of 50 countries and seven industry sectors. 
i. Taking sustainable development goals (SDGs) into account, it is predicted that India will need additional USD 888 billion by 2030 to provide universal household access to electricity and water.
ii. In absolute terms, the total investment needed to meet the SDGs is greatest in India – a total of USD 1.3 trillion of investment is needed by 2030, more than China, which is USD 257 billion.

2017 BRICS Youth Forum opens in Beijing
2017 BRICS Youth Forum opened in Beijing, China on July 25, 2017, to discuss youth development in the BRICS member-nations viz. Brazil Russia, India, China and South Africa.
i. Theme of 2017 BRICS Youth Forum is “Enhance BRICS Partnership, Promote Youth Development”.
ii. Representatives will hold discussions on issues concerning youth policies and entrepreneurship, as well as the roles of BRICS youth in global governance, before formulating an action plan for the forum.

Zimbabwe gives Mugabe power to appoint judges
Zimbabwe’s parliament has passed a bill by amending the constitution to give the president sweeping powers to appoint the country’s top judges without consulting any other institution It has been announced on 25th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. If the bill passed into law, the bill will give Robert Mugabe the sole responsiblity to appoint the chief justice and their deputy.
ii
. Under the 2013 constitution, the president could only appoint a chief justice from individuals recommended by the judicial services commission and after public interviews of the candidates.
iii. The adoption of the bill has been hailed by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who heads Zimbabwe’s parliament.hailed the adoption of the bill.Zimbabwe gives Mugabe power to appoint judges
iv. A total of 182 lawmakers voted in favour of the changes.
About Zimbabwe
♦ Capital :Harare
♦ Currencies: United States Dollar, South African rand, Euro, Indian rupee, Pound sterling, Renminbi, Botswana pula
♦ President: Robert Mugabe

BANKING & FINANCE

Inflation to rise noticeably to 4.4% in second half of 2017 : Nomura Report
According to the Nomura report Retail Inflation in India is expected to rise “noticeably” from ‘trough’ in June to 4.4% in the second half of 2017.
Key Points:
i. According to the Japanese financial services major the inflation expected to see a significant uptrend and rise above the RBI’s target.
ii. As per the Nomura reports CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation to rise well above the Reserve Bank of India’s mid-point target 4% with core inflation rising to 6.3% in 2018.
iii. The sharp moderation in the second half of 2016 in CPI food inflation will cause adverse base effects to rise through the rest of 2017.
iv. As per the reports CPI to have “troughed” in June and expect it to rise gradually by the end-2017 as deflation in food wanes, base effects turn adverse and higher house rent allowances (HRAs) for central government employees raises housing inflation from July.
v. Retail inflation hit a low level of 1.54% in June on reduction in food items like vegetables, pulses and milk products.
vi. In 2018, cyclical factors such as rising rural wage growth, higher minimum support prices and a narrowing output gap is expected to push inflation higher.
vii. The core CPI inflation is expected to rise to 4.4% and 5.2%, respectively, by end-2017 and average 5.3% and 6.3% in 2018.

SIDBI starts merchant banking operations to help MSMEs tap market
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has started its full-fledged merchant banking operations to help MSME’s tap market announced on 26th of July 2017.
Key Points
i. Its give benefit to the number of growth-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those with a strong technology and innovation quotient.
ii. Its main aim is to enhance the access of MSMEs to the capital markets, including the SME Trading Platform and Institutional Trading Platform.
iii. It will give beneficial to the SME exchange as well as investors seeking liquidity or exit.
ivSIDBI has supported over 125 venture capital funds and also provide support for listing the investee companies on SME exchanges through its merchant banking operations.
v. SIDBI, helps MSME in credit assistance for nearly two decades and also have MSMEs that would like to list in the SME exchanges.
About SIDBI
♦ Small Industries Development Bank of India is an independent financial institution aimed to aid the growth and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) in India.
♦ It is set up on 2nd April, 1990 through an act of parliament.
♦ The headquarters of SIDBI is in Lucknow.

BUSINESS

Microsoft launches ‘Made for India’ Kaizala app
Microsoft India has launched Kaizala app, a ‘made in India’ app. It ha been designed for large group communications and work management, even for remote locations with 2G optimisation.
Key Points
i. It is powered by Azure Cloud platform.
ii. Kaizala will help the organisations to communicate, collaborate and complete tasks in Microsoft launches 'Made for India' Kaizala appan efficient way.
iii. It bring together desktop users and mobile-only users who may be within or outside their organisations..
iv. The Redmond giant has also announced an enterprise version called ‘Kaizala Pro’ .
v. It allows organisations to have full administrative control of their groups.
vi. Both ‘Kaizala and Kaizala Pro are integrated with Microsoft Office 365.
vii. Kaizala’ is available in India as a free download on iOS and Android phones.
viii. ‘Kaizala Pro’ is available for purchase at a list price of Rs 130 per user per month.
ix. It also offers features with the offline support.
x. The app users can simply get connected using their mobile phone numbers as their primary unique ID.
About Microsoft
♦ Microsoft Corporation abbreviated as(  MS) is an American multinational technology Company headquartered in Redmond, Washington.
♦ It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Subhash Chandra Garg appointed as India’s Alternate Governor on the Board       of Governors of ADB
Shri Subhash Chandra Garg has appointed as India’s Alternated Governor on the Board of Governors of ADB. It has been announced on 26th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Shri Garg has been appointed in place of Former Secretary, DEA, Shri Shaktikanta Das.Subhash Chandra Garg appointed as India’s Alternate Governor on the Board       of Governors of ADB
ii. He has appointed as India’s Alternate Governor on the Board of Governors of the Asian Development.
iii. It was effected from 12th July, 2017.
About ADB
♦ HQ :Manila Philippines
♦ President: Takehiko Nakao.
♦ Formed: 24th November 1966.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

CM Yogi Adityanath launches UP-RERA website
On July 25, 2017, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UP RERA) website, http://www.up-rera.in/
About UP RERA Portal
i. The website will be open for all. It has been developed to ensure that people do not have to take rounds of offices to verify builder details
ii. Home buyers can get complete information about builders right from registration number of builders to his/her antecedents.
iii. As soon as the builder or developer feeds all the data relevant to his or her company, they would be given a unique identity number immediately. Earlier, this process, would have taken a minimum of 45 days.
About RERA:
♦ The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is an Act of the Parliament of India which seeks to protect home-buyers as well as help boost investments in the real estate industry. The Act came into force from May 1, 2016.

OBITUARY

Former Australia and French Open Tennis Champion Mervyn Rose dies
Former Australian Grand Slam champion and reputed coach Mervyn Rose has passed on 25th of July 2017. He was 87.
Key Points:
i. He won two singles Grand Slam titles, four doubles and one mixed doubles majors.
ii. Rose had made his Grand Slam debut in 1949 and reached a ranking of No.3.
Former Australia and French Open Tennis Champion Mervyn Rose diesiii. In 2000, he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal.
iv. Rose was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001.
v. He had also received an Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002.
vi. The first of his two Grand Slam singles titles received at the age of 24 in 1954 Australian Open in Sydney.
vii. In 2006 he was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for his service to tennis.
viii. Rose represented Australia in Davis Cup between 1950 and 1957.

Freedom fighter Kubersingh Saklecha passes away
Veteran freedom fighter and social worker Kubersingh Saklecha passed away on 25th of July 2017. He was 94.
Key Points:
i. Kubersingh  was born in 1923 in Raisen district’s Bareli tehsil, Uttar Pradesh
ii. According to the sources, Saklecha took part in the country’s independence movement and also went to jail.
iii. He also worked for the upliftment of the society.

Former freedom fighter K.E. Mammen dies aged 96
Noted Gandhian and Freedom fighter K.E. Mammen, who had participated in the Quit India Movement, passed away on July 25, 2017 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was 96.
About K.E.Mammen:
i. Mammen was born into the renowned Kandathil family on July 31, 1921, in Thiruvananthapuram.
ii. During his college years, he became an active participant in the freedom movement.
iii. He was first jailed for taking an open stand against P Ramaswamy Iyer, the then Former freedom fighter K.E. Mammen dies aged 96Dewan of the erstwhile Travancore state.
iv. In recent years, Mr. Mammen had been active in anti-liquor struggles in Kerala.
v. He is a recipient of many accolades, including Ramashramam Award and Lohi Vicharavedi Award and TKV Foundation Award.
vi. He was honored with the Mother Teresa Award constituted by the YMCA Kottayam in 1995 for his relentless fight against the social evils.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Central Reserve Police Force to celebrates 78th anniversary on July 27 2017
The Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) has celebrated its 78th Anniversary at CRPF Headquarters in New Delhi on 27th of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. CRPF Director General , Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar had commemorated and paid homage to the Martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice by laying their lives in the cause of national security.
ii. He also spoke about the initiatives taken up by the force in different regions of the country.
iii. He mentioned that this year, there have been 424 incidents related to stone-pelting and last year, nearly 1,600 incidents were recorded so as per this data the number of incidents has been decreased.
vi. He has given credit to security forces,police and central agencies.
v. The combined efforts of the security forces Jammu and Kashmir police.
vi. Investigation Agency and all other agencies have made this happen.
About CRPF
♦ The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the largest of India’s Central Armed Police Forces.
♦ It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) of the Government of India.
♦ It formed on 27th July 1939.
♦ CRPF Director General :Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar.

Nation celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas on July 26 2017
The country is celebrating the 18th Anniversary of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ on 26th of July, 2017.
Key Points:
i. On the occasion, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and three Chiefs of Services paid tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in the Kargil War at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate.
ii. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July, pay homage to India’s emphatic victory against Pakistan and honors the war heroes.
iii. On this day in 1999, the Indian Army successfully took control of posts at a high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Nation celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas on July 26 2017Jammu and Kashmir, after fighting for 60 days.
iv. The Kargil conflict in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir took place after Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control and occupied Indian posts on the heights.
v. It took about three months for the Indian forces to recapture the posts.
vi. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley paid tribute at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in New Delhi.

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