Current Affairs Today July 27 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Indian Villages Adopted By Ministers to Get Free Wi-Fi Services under ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna’
On July 27, 2018, Minister of State for Communications announced that all villages adopted by the Member of Parliament under ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’ would get free Wi-Fi services.

Indian Villages Adopted By Ministers to Get Free Wi-Fi Services under 'Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna'Objective:
Key Points:
i. Setting up of 25000 WiFi hotspots at existing rural exchanges of BSNL will be done.
ii. All other agencies and private telecom operators will provide WiFi services to every panchayat across India.
iii. Under Bharat Net Project, government has targeted to link each of the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats of India through optical fibre network.
Under Bharat Net Project:
i. Out of this, remaining 1.5 lakh panchayats will be connected with high-speed internet by March 2019.
ii. Uptil now, 2335 mobiles towers are present in left-wing extremism areas.
iii. A total of 4072 towers will be installed in the second phase of the project.
About Bharat Net Project:
BharatNet, also Bharat Broadband Network Limited, is a Telecom infrastructure provider, set up under Telecom department for the establishment, management and operation of National Optical FiberNetwork to provide a minimum of 100 Mbps broadband connectivity all 250,000 gram panchayatsin the country, covering nearly 625,000 villages, to improve telecommunications in India.
Ministry of Communications:
Minister of State: Manoj Sinha.
Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’:
Launch year: 2014.
Key objectives of the Yojana include:

  • The development of model villages, called Adarsh Grams, through the implementation of existing schemes, and certain new initiatives.
  • Creating models of local development which can be replicated in other villages.
  • Each MP to choose one village each from the constituency that they representmake it a model village by 2019.

2 day Air Defence India – 2018 Seminar & Exhibition, organised by Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) inaugurated by MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre
On July 27, 2018, Minister of State for Defence , Dr. Subhash Bhamre inaugurated a two-day Air Defence India – 2018 Seminar & Exhibition in New Delhi.

2 day Air Defence India – 2018 Seminar & Exhibition, organised by Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) inaugurated by MoS Defence Subhash Bhamrei. It was organised by Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) .
ii. Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat and Director General Army Air Defence Lt Gen AP Singh were present at the function.
About Air Defence Corps:
♦ The Corps of Army Air Defence (abbreviated as AAD), is an active corps of the Indian Army.
♦ It is responsible for the protection of Indian air space from enemy aircraft and missiles, especially below 5,000 feet.

HC declares Arunachal Pradesh Parliamentary Secretaries Act as ‘unconstitutional’
On July 27, 2018, The Gauhati High Court has declared the Arunachal Pradesh Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2007 as “unconstitutional” in line with Supreme court’s judgement.
i. The decision bench comprised of Justice Monojit Bhuyan and Justice Rumi Kumari Phukon.
ii. This was against a  public interest litigation filed by Kyoda Ram on the matter of appointing parliamentary secretaries.
iii. The Pema Khandu government in Arunachal Pradesh has at present 23 parliamentary secretaries.
Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: Pema Khandu.
♦ Governor: B.D. Mishra.
♦ Capital: Itanagar.
♦ National Parks: Namdapha National Park, Mouling National Park.

2 day Bilateral exercise on pollution conducted by India and B’desh Coast Guards  
On July 27, 2018, The Indian Coast Guard and Bangladesh Coast Guard conducted a 2 day bilateral table-top exercise on maritime pollution in Kolkata that was held from July 26-27, 2018 in Kolkata.
i. This exercise was conducted in the backdrop of the MoU signed between India and South Asian Cooperation for Environment Protection (SACEP).
ii. Indian side was led by : ICG (NE) commander Inspector General K S Sheoran .
iii. Bangladesh side was led by : Captain M Ehsanullah Khan, Commanding officer, BCGS.
iv. Both sides discussed on maritime issues and capacity building of Bangladesh Coast Guard through training and expertise sharing.
Bangladesh:
♦ Capital: Dhaka.
♦ Currency: Bangladeshi Taka.
♦ Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina.
♦ President: Abdul Hamid.
♦ Military Exercise with India: SAMPRITI.

WB assembly passes Lokayuta (Amednment) Bill, 2018
On July 27, 2018, The West Bengal Assembly passed the Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
i. There are 59 state subjects. The bill allows the Lokayukta to investigate on the other 58 subjects under the State List, with the approval of two-third of the members of the assembly present and voting.
ii. It also doesn’t allow the Chief Minister to matters relating to public order.
iii. Recruitment of police, deployment of forces and any other emergency situations would be regarded as public order.
iv. This Amendment Bill  has been prepared in accordance with the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act2013 passed by the Center and the West BengalLokayukta Act, 2003.
Other States who Passed Lokayukta Bill:
i. Maharashtra was the first state to introduce the institution of Lokayukta through The Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act in 1971.
ii. The latest Lokayukta was established in Tamil Nadu On July 09, 2018.

West Bengal Assembly passes resolution to rename state as ‘Bangla’
On 26th July 2018, the West Bengal Assembly passed a resolution to rename West Bengal as ‘Bangla’ in three languages:Bengali, English and Hindi.
West Bengal to ‘Bangla’:
i. This move has been made with an aim to move up in the alphabetical sequence of state names, as West Bengal is last in the list now.
ii. West Bengal has to wait for approval from the Home Ministry on the resolution.
iii. Earlier, the Centre had rejected West Bengal’s proposals of having 3 names Bangla (in Bengali), Bengal (in English) and Bangal (in Hindi).
iv. Also, in 2011, West Bengal government’s proposal to rename West Bengal as “Paschim Bango” was also rejected by the Centre.
Some important stadiums in West Bengal:
♦ Mohun Bagan Ground – Kolkata
♦ Rabindra Sarobar Stadium – Kolkata
♦ Mohammedan Sporting Ground – Kolkata

Odisha signs MoU with Sightsavers to strengthen education for blind students
On July 27, 2018, Odisha government signed an MoU with global organization Sightsavers to prevent avoidable blindness .

Odisha signs MoU with Sightsavers to strengthen education for blind studentsObjective:
To strengthen education for the blind students.
Key Points:
The Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) signed this MoU with Sightsavers.
About the project:
i. This project would benefit 25,000 visually impaired and  1.3 lakh students with special needs, currently enrolled in general schools of the state.
ii. Sightsavers will provide technical support to OPEPA in strengthening education of the blind and low vision children.
iii. It will include disability management, low vision assessment, curriculum and special skill development, capacity building.
iv. It will demonstrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based education, low vision devices, daisy players, tablets, accessible education materials, disabled friendly Teaching Learning Materials (TLM).
Sightsavers:
♦ Headquarters:  Melksham, UK.
♦ Founded: 1950.
♦ CEO: RN Mohanty.

Haryana social justice department to launch special campaign against drug menace
On July 27, 2018, Haryana’s Department of Social Justice and Empowerment announced that a special campaign to control the menace of drugs will be launched.

Haryana social justice department to launch special campaign against drug menaceThis will be targeted especially in the districts bordering Punjab.
Key Points:
i. For this a task force under the chairmanship of  deputy commissioner at the district level and at the state level under the chairmanship of the chief ministerhas been formed.
ii. This campaign would include : prevention of sale of drugs, treatment of drug addicts, awareness among people about the adverse effects of drugs on their health.
iii. 60 drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres with NGOs are operating.
iv. Applications from NGOs working for drug de-addiction would be invited by August 14, 2018 and honoured in September or October 2018.
Haryana:
♦ Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar.
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh.
♦ National Parks: Kalesar National Park, Sultanpur National Park.
♦ Lakes: Blue Bird Lake, Badkhal lake, Karna Lake, Damdama Lake, Tilyar Lake.

Haryana government constitutes inter-district council
On 25th July 2018, Haryana government has constituted an inter-district council, under the chairmanship of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, to identify the developmental priorities of Haryana.
Haryana government constitutes inter-district council:
i. Permanent members of the council: finance minister, development and panchayat minister, urban local bodies minister, presidents of zilla parishads, mayors of municipal corporations and presidents of municipal councils or committees at district headquarters.
ii. Non-permanent members of the council: will be one chairperson of panchayat samiti from each district.
iii. Director, Swarna Jayanti Haryana Institute for Fiscal Management (SJHIFM) will be the member Secretary.
iv. This council will prepare district specific action plans, assessment of development needs, and delegate powers to panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies.
v. Also, it will review the progress of various flagship programmes of the Centre and the state governments on a regular basis.
Some National Parks in Haryana:
♦ Sultanpur National Park
♦ Kalesar National Park

Uttar Pradesh sets up committee to look into demands of ‘shiksha mitras’
On 26th July 2018, Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a committee to listen to the demands of ‘shiksha mitras’ and suggest a suitable action plan.
Uttar Pradesh sets up committee to look into demands of ‘shiksha mitras’:
i. This move has been made after continuous protests by ‘shiksha mitras’ throughout Uttar Pradesh.
ii. The committee was formed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The committee head is: Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma.
iii. Members of the committee will be: principal secretaries of basic education, law and the finance department.
iv. After studying the issues, the committee will submit a report to the chief minister.
v. The ‘shiksha mitras’ have been demanding the direct appointment of 30,000 TET pass ‘shiksha mitras’ as teachers, providing financial assistance to people who died during the agitation and giving Rs 38,878 to those who have not been offered government jobs instead of the Rs 10,000 promised by the government.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Bakhira Sanctuary
♦ Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary

BANKING & FINANCE

SoftBank and Paytm partner to launch cashless payments service in Japan
On July 27, 2018, SoftBank announced partnership with Paytm to launch a payments service in Japan.

SoftBank and Paytm partner to launch cashless payments service in Japani. The service would be launched by SoftBank’s joint venture company PayPay (with Yahoo Japan). This was established in June 2018.
ii. It would utilise Paytm’s technology and expertise in mobile payments.
iii. This will promote cashless payment in Japan.
Background:
Cash is mainly used for payment in Japan with cashless payments only remaining at 20%.To help and boost the government’s decision of raising the cashless payment ratio to 40 per cent by 2025 this decision was taken.
Paytm:
♦ Founded: 2010.
♦ Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
♦ Parent Company: One97 Communiations.
♦ Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
♦ Paytm offers mobile payments to over 300 million customers and 8 million merchants in India.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Google teams up with Accenture to help enterprises move to Cloud; forms Accenture Google Cloud Business Group
On 25th July 2018, Google announced its partnership with Accenture to help enterprises build Cloud solutions customised to their specific industries and needs through Accenture Google Cloud Business Group (AGBG).
Accenture Google Cloud Business Group:
i. This announcement was made at the Google Next 2018 conference, in San Francisco, United States.
ii. Google and Accenture have agreed to form the Accenture Google Cloud Business Group (AGBG). AGBG will consist of Cloud experts from Google and Accenture.
iii. AGBG aims to help companies to build next generation business processes with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based approaches to develop new value across the enterprise.
iv. It can also help companies to modernize enterprise infrastructure by moving to Cloud and offer managed services customised for Google Cloud Platform.
v. It can also help to create relevant customer experiences by combining Google Marketing Platform data with other enterprise data sources, scaling G Suite across the enterprise etc.
vi. Recently, Accenture was named 2017 Google Cloud Platform Partner of the Year.
About Accenture:
♦ Chairman and CEO – Pierre Nanterme
♦ Objective – solves clients’ challenges by providing unmatched services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Cricketer Virat Kohli was presented with International Player of the Year award for 2017 and 2018 by The Barmy Army
On 25th July 2018, Virat Kohli was awarded the International Cricket of the Year for 2017 and 2018 by England’s Barmy Army after the first day of India’s tour match against Essex, in Chelmsford, England.
Virat Kohli – International Player of the Year award for 2017 and 2018 by Barmy Army:
i. Barmy Army is a popular group of English cricket fans. At present, the Indian cricket team is in England to play a 4 day friendly match against country side Essex.
ii. In 2018, Virat Kohli has played 19 matches in various formats and has scored 1181 runs with an average of 65.61. He has scored four hundred and four half-centuries.
iii. Also, he became the fastest to score 3000 one-day international runs as captain.
About BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India):
♦ CEO – Rahul Johri
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

Ramakanta Rath conferred Odisha’s highest literary award
On July 26, 2018, Eminent Poet Ramakanta Rath was conferred with Odisha’s highest literary award Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman for 2018.

Ramakanta Rath conferred Odisha's highest literary awardi. It was given to him by Culture and Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda at an event organized by  Odisha Sahitya Akademi.
ii. The award carries a citation and cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.
iii. He was given the award for his life time contribution to Odia literature.
iv. Apart from Mr.Rath, the Akademi also felicitated 15 other litterateurs of the state.
About Ramakanta Rath:
i. He is a former chief secretary of Odisha and a Padma Bhusan awaredee.
ii. He got Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, Saraswathi Samman in 1992, Bishuva Samman in 1990.
iii. Among his poems, Sriradha is considered as a modern classic.

UN’s top environment award Champion of Earth Prize-2018 presented to CIAL
On July 27, 2018, The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been selected for the Champion of Earth Prize-2018.

UN's top environment award Champion of Earth Prize-2018 presented to CIALKey Points:
i. It is the highest environmental honour instituted by the United Nations.
ii .CIAL will be given the award in on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly  ceremony in New York on September 26.
Achievements of CIAL:
i. Cochin Airport a first in the world to be fully powered by solar energy.
ii. By September 2018, the solar capacity at CIAL will be increased to 40 MWp.
iii. It will give 60 million units per annum power and save  Rs 40 crore per annum  of the airport.
iv. This will also avoid CO2 emissions by more than 9 lakh metric tons over the next 25 years equivalent to planting 90 lakh trees.
v. The airport stands fourth in the country in terms of international traffic and seventh in total traffic has handled 10 million passengers in 2017-18.
About CIAL:
CIAL, the company which owns and operates country’s first airport which became power neutral in August, 2015 with the commissioning of its 12 MWp solar power plant.
About Champion of Earth award:
♦ Founded: 2005.
♦ Purpose: to recognise outstanding environmental leaders in public and private sectors.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Pakistan’s cricket legend Imran Khan elected as the next Prime Minister Pakistan
On July 27, 2018, The former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan has claimed victory in Pakistan’s Election of 2018.

Pakistan’s cricket legend Imran Khan elected as the next Prime Minister Pakistani. The 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician is representing Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI).
ii. He is expected to get as many as 119 seats of the 270 national assembly seats contested.
iii. He contested against Shahbaz Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).
iv. He will replace former Pm Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistan:
♦ Capital: Islamabad.
♦ Currency: Pakistani Rupee.
♦ President: Mamsoon Hussain.

India U-20 coach Floyd Pinto named head coach of Indian Arrows in I-League (football)
On 25th July 2018, India’s under-20 football coach Floyd Pinto was named the head coach of Indian Arrows side for the upcoming I-League season, after the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Technical Committee meeting.
Floyd Pinto – head coach of Indian Arrows in I-League:
i. Floyd Pinto replaces Portuguese Luis Norton de Matos. Luis Norton de Matos resigned from his position on 18th July 2018, due to personal reasons.
ii. Floyd Pinto was unanimously selected as head coach  of Indian Arrows by the AIFF Technical Committee. His assistant will be appointed later.
iii. Indian Arrows side will mostly comprise of India U-20 players. Floyd Pinto will guide the Indian U-20 national team in the COTIF International tournament that begins on 29th July 2018 in Spain.
About All India Football Federation (AIFF):
♦ President – Praful M Patel
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

OBITUARY

Former Kerala Minister Cherkallam Abdullah passes away
On 27th July 2018, former Kerala Minister for Local Self Government Cherkallam Abdullah, died after a long term illness at his residence.

Former Kerala Minister Cherkallam Abdullah passes awayDeath of Cherkallam Abdullah:
i. Cherkallam Abdullah was 76 years old. He is a four-time MLA from Manjeswaram in Kasaragod district.
ii. He was the Minister for Local Self Government from 2001 to 2004. He was also a senior IUML (Indian Union Muslim League) leader.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

“When Coal Turned Gold: The Making of a Maharatna Company” written by Partha Sarathi Bhattacharyya
The book “When Coal Turned Gold: The Making of a Maharatna Company” has been written by Coal India Ltd’s (CIL)’s former chairman Partha Sarathi Bhattacharyya.

"When Coal Turned Gold: The Making of a Maharatna Company” written by Partha Sarathi BhattacharyyaWhen Coal Turned Gold: The Making of a Maharatna Company:
i. This book talks about the transformation of Coal India Ltd’s (CIL) from a loss-making enterprise into a profitable Maharatna PSU.
ii. When the Coal India Ltd’s (CIL) was given the Navratna status in October 2008, the government mandated the company to get listed in the stock exchange within 3 years.
iii. CIL’s then Chairman Partha Sarathi Bhattacharyya headed the initial public offering (IPO) in 2010 and made it a success.
About Coal India Ltd’s (CIL):
♦ Chairman – Anil Kumar Jha
♦ Head Office – Kolkata