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PM Modi inaugurates APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial in Rameswaram, TN
On July 27, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu on the second death anniversary of the former president. PM Modi also hoisted the national flag at the memorial.
i. The memorial has been designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It has been build at a cost of 20 crore and blends Mughal and Indian architecture.
ii. PM Modi also distributed sanction letters to the beneficiaries of long liner trawlers under the ‘Blue Revolution’ scheme and also flagged off a new express train from Ayodhya to Rameswaram .Later PM Modi released a synopsis of the ‘Green Rameswaram’ project.
Recent Approvals by Central government – July 27 2017
On July 26, 2017, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved following bilateral agreements and initiatives:
i. Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval for amendment of the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954
ii. Cabinet apprised of the MoU signed between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports
iii. Cabinet apprised of the Joint Declaration of Intent between India and Germany on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability
iv. Cabinet approves revision of cost of Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011
v. On July 26, 2017, Union Cabinet cleared a new Minimum Wage Code Bill that will integrate four different wage legislations.
Mumbai Metro launches India’s first mobile ticketing system
The Mumbai Metro One Private Limited has announced the launch of India’s first Mobile Ticketing System ‘OnGo’on 26th of July 2017.
i. It will help commuters to buy their tickets on their mobile phones.
ii. Commuters will also be able to book tickets for future journeys up to seven days in advance using the system.
iii. The system is currently at an advanced stage of testing and is set to be launched by mid-August.
iv. Through ‘OnGo’, commuters can purchase tickets on the Mumbai Metro app and other partner apps like Ridlr.
v. Commuters can use the app to buy single and return tickets along with trip and store value passes.
vi.Commuters can purchase up to six tickets at a time and purchase both tickets and passes through the same app.
vii. A QR code will be generated that will have to be displayed before a non-protruding glass at the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gates.
About Mumbai Heritage Sites:
♦ Haji Ali: The Haji Ali Dargah is Mumbai’s most popular mosque and tomb, located on an islet 500 metres off the coast of Worli in South Mumbai.
♦ The Gateway of India: The Gateway of India is symbolic of Mumbai.
♦Taj Mahal Palace and Tower: This majestic hotel located in South Mumbai.
Shri Bandaru Dattatreya attends the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet held in China
BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet was held on 26th and 27th July, 2017 in Chonqging, China. Indian delegation to this meet was led by Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour & Employment. M Sathiyavathy, Secretary ( Labour and Employment), Manish Gupta, Joint Secretary, Anuja Bapat, Director and Prof Sasikumar, Sr. Fellow, VVGNLI were also the part of Indian delegation.
i. China is the chair for the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet for the year 2017.
ii. The meeting concluded with the adoption of the BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Declaration.
BANKING & FINANCE
Punjab National Bank ties up with Bajaj Allianz General for distribution
Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance have signed an agreement for the distribution of insurance products through the branches on 26th July 2017.
i. Under this agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer Personal lines of insurance and Commercial line of insurance products to the banks customers.
♦ Personal Line of Insurance includes health, personal accident, home motor and travel insurance.
♦ Commercial Line of Insurance includes Property, marine and engineering insurance.
ii. The insurance company will also offer wide range of rural insurance products.
iii. Such type of insurance tie-ups leads 100 million customers to various products under one roof.
iv. Bajaj Allianz will ensure a seamless and instant insurance experience to the bank’s urban as well as rural customers through its digital offices.
♦ Founded: 19th May 1894
♦ Founder: LalaLajpatRai
♦ HQ: New Delhi
♦ MD of PNB: Sunil Mehta
♦ Bajaj Allianz General Insurance MD:Tapan Singhel.
BSE inks Cooperation Pact with Egyptian Exchange
BSE has joined hands with Egyptian Exchange (EGX) for cooperation in exchange of information across business areas.
i. The exchange aim is to cross list and trade securities and It would provide new investment alternatives to investors in both markets.
ii. The MoU between BSE and EGX represents an important step in integrating both the exchanges to build capital market flows.
iii. Through this MoU a range of opportunities has been explored for the development of their businesses, products and markets to share knowledge and strengthen international connectivity.
iv. This MoU further complements EGXs strategy to cooperate with global exchanges beyond its traditional markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
v. EGX and BSE both boost a long history of being in existence and business over 100 years.
vi. The MoU between BSE and EGX represents a significant step in integrating both the exchanges to build capital market flows.
About Egypt :
♦ Capital :Cairo
♦ Currency: Egyptian Pound
♦ President:Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
♦ Prime Minister :Sherif Ismail
Codex Alimentarius Commission adopts Codex norms for three spices
Global food standard-setting body Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme paving the way for a universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries. These three Codex standards were adopted at CAC’s recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
i. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the adoption of these standards will imply that there will be now reference points and benchmarks for the 188 CAC member-countries for trade of these spices.
ii. The Codex Alimentarius or “Food Code” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
Australia sends its first uranium shipment to India
Australia has sent its first uranium shipment to India for testing purposes ahead of possible commercial sales.
i. It comes after India and Australia signed an agreement for civil nuclear cooperation in 2014 to meet India’s growing energy needs.
ii. Australian uranium has played a reliable long-term role in supplying India’s growing energy needs.
iii. The transfer is part of ongoing commercial negotiations between Australian uranium exporters and India’s Department of Atomic Energy on possible sales contracts for civil nuclear-power generation.
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ PM: Malcolm Turnbull
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
JDU President Nitish Kumar sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for 6th time
On July 27, 2017, Janata Dal (United) President, Nitish Kumar took oath as Chief Minister of Bihar for 6th time. Ending the grand alliance between his party, Congress and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nitish Kumar will now form the new government with the support of BJP-led NDA.
i. Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi also took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.
ii. On July 26, 2017, after Nitish Kumar resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar on account of differences with RJD, BJP announced support for JD(U) and Nitish Kumar as chief minister. BJP also added that it will be a part of the government.
Axis Bank approves re-appointment of Shikha Sharma as CEO
Axis Bank has re-appointed Shikha Sharma as MD&CEO of Axis Bank for three-year term from June 2018. Her current term was to end in June 2018.
i. Axis Bank has informed Bombay Stock Exchange that board of directors has approved the re-appointment.
ii. Sharma began her career with the infra lender ICICI Ltd in 1980 and played a key role in setting up the group’s investment banking business.
iii. The Board of Directors at its meeting held on 26th July 2017 has approved the re-appointment of Smt. Shikha Sharma as the Managing Director & CEO of the Bank.
iv. She joined the bank in 2009 with a five-year mandate which was subsequently extended.
About Axis bank
♦ Headquarters : Mumbai
♦ Tagline: BadhtiKa Naam Zindagi
♦ Products of Axis Bank: Lime App, Kisan Card, Asha Home Loan
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Axis Bank to buy FreeCharge from Snapdeal for Rs 385 crore
Axis Bank has announced that it has agreed to buy mobile payments wallet provider FreeCharge from e-commerce company Snapdeal for Rs 385 crore.
i. By acquiring Freecharges business would give Axis Bank access to about 52 million mobile wallet holders of Freecharge as well as about 150 to 200 professionals.
ii. The acquisition will double the customer base of the bank. Freecharge presently has revenue of about Rs 80 crore.
iii. Axis Bank offers key payment modes — mobile banking, credit cards, debit cards, forex cards and UPI payments.
iv. The bank has been driving digital acceptance and has established the second largest merchant network with over 4,33,000 PoS (point of sale) machines.
v. Axis Bank has been actively participating in market leading payment innovations through partnerships with Samsung Pay, Kochi Metro and BMTC.
About Axis Bank
♦ HQ: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Founded: 1993
♦ MD&CEO: Shikha Sharma
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA will chase total solar eclipse in jets to make it last longer
This rare eclipse will be the first in 99 years, when the Earth will cross the shadow of the moon, creating a total solar eclipse. The event will occur on 21st August 2017.
i. During the eclipse, the moon will pass between the Sun and Earth, blocking the face of the sun and leaving only its outer atmosphere, or corona, visible in the sky.
ii. NASA will fly”eclipse jets” to make totality when the moon blocks out the sun last nearly three times as long.
iii. The jets will use telescopes to study the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere.
iv. A partial eclipse will be visible in every state, a total eclipse will be visible only across 14 states in the continental US along a 112-kilometer-wide swath of the country.
How to chase a total solar eclipse
Each WB-57F research aircraft, as eclipse jets are officially called, will take off from Ellington Field, which is located near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
♦ Once they reach about 50,000 feet, they’ll make their way over Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee as they chase the umbra.
♦ Each aircraft has a suite of sensitive instruments mounted on its nose.
♦ A pair of telescopes, which the institute’s researchers will point at the sun to record what may be the clearest photos of the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere.
♦ The images of the corona will allow the team to search for a hypothesized family of asteroids called vulcanoids.
♦ If discovered, vulcanoids give scientists an insight into how Mercury and other rocky planets may have formed.
DNA of human embryos edited for 1st time in US
Scientists in the US for the first time have successfully used gene-editing tools on human embryos to correct defective DNA that cause inherited diseases. This study may open gates to Designer Babies.
i. According to the ‘MIT Technology Review’ the experiments are a milestone in journey towards the birth of the first genetically modified humans.
ii. It involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the controversial gene-editing technique CRISPR.
iii. Scientists wanted to show that they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease, like thalassemia.
iv. The genetically modified child would then pass the changes on to subsequent generations.
v. According to Jun Wu from the Salk Institute in the USthis will be the first study reported in the US.
National Centre for Seismology launches ‘India Quake’ – An App for Earthquake Parameter Dissemination
On the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences in New Delhi Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched an app“India Quake”on 27th of July 2017.
i. National Centre for Seismology (NCS) operates national seismological network with 84 stations.
ii. These stations are connected to NCS headquarter through VSAT for real time data communication.
iii. To overcome this, a Mobile App has been developed by the NCS for automatic dissemination of earthquake parameter (location, time and magnitude) after the occurrence of earthquakes.
iv. The App will make information dissemination faster with no restrictions on the number of recipients.
v. Any citizen can download this App and get the real time earthquake location information on his/her mobile.
vi. There are two categories of events such as scrutinized and unscrutinized.
vii. Unscrutinized events are the earthquake whose parameters have been estimated automatically by the software using the incoming waveform data from remote stations.
viii. These solutions are scrutinized and confirmed by the NCS, which form the category of scrutinized events.
Uttarakhand records second highest tiger count in India
As per the announcement by Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand the count of tigers in Uttarakhand shot up 242 with an increase of 63 big cats in the year 2017.
i. In addition, 11 cubs were also found in the two tiger reserves, the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, in the state.
ii. Around 535 cameras installed in Corbett Tiger Reserve played a key role in collecting the recent data.
iii. Uttarakhand is the second state in terms of tiger count behind Karnataka, which has 400 big cats.
iv. According to the latest statistics, at least 208 tigers have been identified in Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, up from last year’s 163. Also six cubs were identified there.
v. At least 34 tigers have been identified in Rajaji Tiger Reserve in 2016-17, up from previous year’s 16. Five cubs were also found there.
vi. On the other hand, 562 cameras were put at strategic locations in core areas of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in collaboration with the Indian Wildlife Institute and World Nature Fund (WWF).
About Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve
♦ Established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger.
Located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand.
About Rajaji Tiger Reserve
♦ Rajaji National Park is an Indian national park and tiger reserve.The Park has been named after C. Rajagopalachari, the second and last Governor-General of independent India.
♦ In 1983, three wildlife sanctuaries in the area namely, Chilla, Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries were merged into one.
Glow-in-the-dark shark discovered in the Pacific
Scientists have discovered a new species of glow-in-the-dark shark in the Pacific Ocean.
i. It has an unusually large nose, weighs a little less than a kilo and measures less than a foot.
ii. They are not easily visible or accessible like so many other sharks.
iii. It lives 1,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
iv. The new species, a member of the lanternshark family, has been named Etmopteruslailae.
v. It has a strange head shape and an unusually large and bulgy snout where its nostrils and olfactory organs are located.
vi. These creatures are living in a deep sea environment with almost no light so they need to have a big sniffer to find food.
vii. It has other distinctive features like flank markings that go forward and backward on their bellies and a naked patch without scales on the underside of its snout.
Indonesia to host AFC U-19 championship
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competition Committee has awarded Indonesia the hosting of the AFC Under-19 championship 2018.
i. The AFC U-19 championship is scheduled to be held from 18 October to 4 November 2018.
ii. The committee felt that Indonesia was regarded as the most favourable among the bidders.
♦ Capital: Jakarta
♦ Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
♦ President: Joko Widodo
Former Karnataka CM Dharam Singh passes away in Bengaluru
Former Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh passed away on 27th July 2017.He was 80.
i. Dharam was the 17th Chief Minister of Karnataka and a member of the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress alliance government between 2004 and 2006.
ii. He was born in 1936 at Nelogi village in Kalaburgi district.He also served as Member of Parliament in LokSabha.
iii. He won seven straight Assembly election terms from the Jewargi constituency in Karnataka.
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