Current Affairs Today July 3 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

MOD approves construction of 17 New Baffle Firing Ranges
Ministry of Defence has approved the sanction for construction of 17 new baffle firing ranges in Military Stations/Cantonments/Training Establishments at an estimated cost of Rs. 238 crores.
MOD approves construction of 17 New Baffle Firing RangesMOD approves construction of 17 New Baffle Firing Ranges:
i. With this 7 additional ranges are added to the Southern Command, 3 to the Eastern Command, 2 to the Northern Command, 1 to the South Western and 1 to the Central Command.
ii. The 1 range at Central Command is proposed for the Officers Training Academy, Gaya.
iii. These 17 ranges are constructed in addition to the 60 similar firing ranges existing in India. The proposed baffle shooting ranges will facilitate firing from 300 to 500 meters.
iv. Baffle firing ranges are covered shooting practice areas that prevent possible accidents due to stray bullet injuries.
v. To prevent such incidents, the Armed Forces, MOD has approved additional baffle ranges.
About Indian Navy:
♦ Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Sunil Lanba
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

M/o Social Justice & Empowerment organizes “National Workshop on Skill Development for Persons with Disabilities”
On 3rd July 2018, “National Workshop on Skill Development for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)” was held in New Delhi.
M/o Social Justice & Empowerment organizes “National Workshop on Skill Development for Persons with Disabilities”National Workshop on Skill Development for Persons with Disabilities:
i. The workshop was organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
ii. The workshop acted as a platform to all stakeholders like training partners, policy makers and employers.
iii. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated the workshop. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was the Guest of Honour.
iv. ThaawarchandGehlot said that the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPwD), 2016 directs the Government to frame schemes to promote Skill Development of Persons with Disabilities to increase their scope of employability.
v. DEPwD along with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship introduced the National Action Plan for Skill Development of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in March 2015.
vi. DEPwD implements the Scheme for Implementation of Right of Persons with Disabilities Act (SIPDA) which involves Skill Development of PwDs.
vii. The Skill Development programme for PwDs is implemented through training Partners, its National Institutes, their Composite Regional Centres and National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation (NHFDC).
viii. The workshop had an Inaugural Session, three technical sessions and an Interactive session.
ix. India is a signatory to the UNCRPD which came to effect from May 2018. The Indian Government has enacted the RPwD act that came to effect in 2017. It is in line with spirit of UNCRPD (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).
About National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation (NHFDC):
♦ Chairman-cum-Managing Director – D. R. Sarin
♦ Corporate Office – New Delhi

Conference of States Power Ministers held at Shimla , HP on June 3,2018
On July 1,2018, the Ministry of Power announced that it will hold a conference of state power ministries at Shimla, Himachal Pradesh on July 3, 2018. The Conference will be inaugurated by Shri R K Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy.
Dignitaries present in the conference will be :
Ministers and Secretaries of the States and Union territories and senior officials of the power & renewable energy sectors and Public Sector Undertakings under them .
Objective:
The aim is to review the implementation of various ongoing Schemes/ Programmes & work on  issues pertaining to Power and Renewable Energy sectors.
Key Points:
i. Issues like 100 per cent Household Electrification (under Saubhagya) by December, 2018, UDAY performance assessmentshifting to prepaid system in three years and 24X7 Power for All – From 1st April 2019 will be discussed.
ii. They will also discuss : proposed draft amendments in the provision of Captive Generating Plant in Electricity Rules, 2005 and flexibility in utilization of Coal, promoting environment friendly measures such as- setting up of Charging Infrastructure for E-vehicle, review of progress on adoption of Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) by the States and the UTs and establishment of standalone SDA for effective implementation of Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Programmes.
iii. In the area of Renewable Energy, discussions on compliance of RPO targets, preparation of month wise plans for bidding solar & wind capacity by State/UT, review of Solar Parks and Solar Rooftop Program will take place.
iv. Also automatic exemption from land ceiling act for RE power projects, free intra-state transmission for solar/wind power and fast provision of Right of Way (RoW) for evacuation facility being set up by CTUs will be discussed.
v. New emerging technologies in RE sector like floating solar, wind solar hybrid, offshore wind and storage, Small Hydro Power and Biomass Power will also be taken up for discussion.
Ministry of Power, New & Renewable Energy :
♦ Minister of State (I/C) : RK Singh

‘Happiness Curriculum’ for Delhi government schools launched by Delhi CM and Dalai Lama
On July 3, 2018, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched the “Happiness Curriculum” for students of nursery to Class 8 in government schools . The curriculum was launched in the presence of the Dalai Lama.
'Happiness Curriculum' for Delhi government schools launched by Delhi CM and Dalai LamaObjective:
It aims to target modern day problems like terrorism, corruption and pollution and solve them through human-centric education.
Key Points:
i. The new subject was designed and prepared by a team of 40 Delhi government teachers, educators and volunteers over a period of six months.
ii. According to the curriculum, Students across schools can expect a ‘happiness’ period of 45 minutes. Each class will begin with a five-minute meditation .
iii. It would also include value education and mental exercises.
iv. It would be beneficial for 10 lakh students with the help of around 50,000 teachers.
Delhi:
♦ Unesco Heritage site: Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar.

1st meeting of Cauvery Water Management Board held in Central Water Commission, Delhi
On July 2,2018, The first meeting of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) was held at Central Water Commission (CWC) office in Delhi.
i. It was chaired by the CWC Chairman, S Masood Hussain, who is also heading the Cauvery Authority.
ii. Representatives of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry attended the meeting.
Objective:
To discuss on release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from Karnataka as per the schedule & drawing up a plan of action for three ten-day periods, beginning July 2018.
Key Points:
i. The members of CWMA from Tamil Nadu demanded immediate release of water as Karnataka dams have sufficient storage.
ii. The Authority discussed the information on total residual storage in Banasura Sagar (Kerala); Hemavathi, Harangi, Kabini, and Krishnarajasagara (Karnataka); Lower Bhavani, Amaravathy and Mettur (Tamil Nadu), as on June 1.
iii. Discussions on : Format for maintaining data of inflow, outflow, withdrawal, storage, rainfall, cropped area and domestic and industrial requirement to be maintained by the CWRC, requirement of data regarding actual yield in the basin from June 1 to June 30.
iv. Data regarding withdrawals / release of water in the basin during the above period and bringing out indications of distress, if any, in the basin were also discussed.
v. And a plan of action for three ten-day periods, beginning July 2018 was submitted to CWMA.
vi. The authority directed Karnataka to release 31.24 TMC water to Tamil Nadu in the month of July.
vii. Karnataka was urged to release water from Cauvery according to the Supreme Court ruling, and it was decided that the existing arrangement for the supply of water to Puducherry by Tamil Nadu will continue.
viii. Also proposal for setting up communication network to assess hydrological conditions and setting up of a permanent office for the authority was discussed.
About CWC:
♦ Acting on the Supreme Court’s direction, the Centre on June 1 constituted the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) to address the dispute over sharing of river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
♦ Chairman: Masood Hussain.

Country’s first Khadi mall to come up in Jharkhand
On July 2, 2018,  Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das announced that Jharkhand will have the first ‘Khadi Mall’ of the country.
i. This was announced while addressing the ‘Karigar Panchayat’ organized by the Khadi Board at the Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium .
ii. The mall will be built in the land of the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) campus.
iii. It will be developed by Khadi Board.
iv. So far 1.13 lakh artisans have been registered to be trained to make goods as per the needs of the market.
v. The artisans would be provided technological aid for value addition in their products, while rural, urban and tourism ‘haats’ will provide them markets for their goods.
vi. This initiative of the Khadi Board, many people in the rural area have got jobs and markets.
About Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC):
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’. It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India, which seeks to – “plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies

Tribal museum to be set up to exhibit culture of SCs in Naya Raipur: Chhattisgarh Govt
On July 1, 2018, The Chhattisgarh government set up a tribal museum in the state’s upcoming new capital Naya Raipur . The decision was taken during a meeting of Chhattisgarh State Tribal Advisory Council chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh at New Mantralya.
Objective:
The museum aims to exhibit culture and tradition of scheduled tribes.
Key Points:
About the Museum:
i. The tribal museum will be built at the cost of Rs 27 crore in an area of around 22 acres in Naya Raipur .
ii. It will be named after Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh, a freedom fighter from the state who had made a tremendous contribution in the freedom struggle of 1857.
Other decisions taken in the meeting:
i. Reorganization of  Raipur based Tribal Caste Research and Training as a society.
ii. This would enable it to directly receive the financial aid from the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry.
iii .A separate secretariat would be constituted as per the requirement of the Chhattisgarh Tribal Advisory Council to ensure the official works of the council are done in a smooth and organised manner.
iv. Members of the state Cabinet, MPs, MLAs, and nominated representatives will have a seat in this secretariat.
v. Duties of the secretariat would include: redressal of the problems and requirements for conservation of tribal culture, dialect, language, traditions, musical instruments etc.
vi. Nodal Officer in this secretariat will be selected from the tribal community only.
vii. Documentation of tribal community’s activities will also be done.
viii. Tribal Culture and Language Academy will also be set up in the state.
Chhattisgarh:
♦ Chief Minister: Raman Singh
♦ Governor: Balram Das Tondon.
♦ Capital: Raipur, Judiciary Capital: Bilaspur.

Madhya Pradesh govt to implement Ayushman Bharat Yojana under PMRSS Mission on Independence day
On July 3, 2018, An MoU has been signed between the Madhya Pradesh government and National Health Agency for implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana under the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission in the state from August 15,2018.
i. An expenditure of over Rs. 16 hundred crore at the rate of Rs. Twelve hundred per family has been estimated.
ii. An amount of Rs. 600 crore in the form of Grant-in-Aid will be provided by central government, whereas around Rs. 400 crore will be shared by the state.
iii. A total of 84 lakh families of deprived section have been included in the Ayushman Bharat scheme on the basis of socio-economic caste census.
iv. An annual Health Security Cover of 5 lakh rupees will be provided to each family under the scheme.
v. The benefit of the scheme will be given in cashless form through government and private hospitals.
vi. It will help reducing out of pocket medical treatment expenses of citizens.
Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
♦ Governor: Anandiben Patel
♦ Capital: Bhopal, Judiciary Capital: Jabalpur.
♦ National Parks: Kanha Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh National Park, Panna National Park, Madhav National Park.

Country’s first e-waste recycling unit to come up in Bengaluru
On July 3, 2018, The Centre has announced a state-of-the-art e-waste recycling unit for Bengaluru, India’s technology capital. It will be India’s first such unit in the government sector.
Key Points:
i. It would be built by the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET), a research institute under the Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry.
ii. Bengaluru produces an estimated one lakh tonne of electronic waste a year.
iii. This would promote entrepreneurship opportunities for strategic utilisation of high performance plastics and metal waste.
About e-Waste in India:
i. India generates about 18 lakh tonne ewaste a year, which is growing at 30% annually. Of this, about 5% is bought by the 153 approved recyclers and dismantlers and the rest is picked up by the unorganised sector .
ii. The main challenge in the e-waste sector is transporting the waste from user to the recycler. Recyclers expect the waste to be transported to their doorsteps but consumers do not directly transport but hand it to waste-pickers.
iii. And unorganised sectors dismantle e-waste in unscientific ways which is detrimental to the environment.
iv. Over 416,000 mobile devices and 142,000 computers are dumped either by recycling or disposing of them in landfills and incinerators.
About the All India e-Waste Recyclers’ Association :
About 180 e-waste recyclers from across the country recently came together to form the All India e-Waste Recyclers’ Association, based in Bengaluru. The association has been formed to streamline the e-waste recycling sector in the country.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Bangladesh bagged World Bank’s support on management of Rohingya crisis
On July 3, 2018,  The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced The World Bank’s support to the Bangladesh government in managing the Rohingya crisis in a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the Secretariat in Dhaka .
Key Points:
i. The WB lent Bangladesh amount of over US$3 billion, which is the second largest among the countries in the world that they had financed.
ii. The officials of the WB will visit the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar where the refugees are residing.
iii. More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees are residing in crowded and flood-prone Bangladeshi refugee camps.
About Rohingyas:
i. Rohingyas are a Muslim minority ethnic group in Myanmar and are considered as illegal immigrants.
ii. More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees are languishing in crowded and flood-prone Bangladeshi refugee camps. They fled a brutal Myanmar military campaign launched in August 2017.

China approves $1 billion aid to Pak after its selection in FATF’s grey list
On July 3,2018, China approved USD 1 billion grant to Pakistan after it has been placed in  Financial Action Task Force FATF’s  ‘grey list’ .
China approves $1 billion aid to Pak after its selection in FATF’s grey listi. The idea behind putting Pakistan in the grey list is to tighten their economy and curb terror financing
ii. Earlier Saudi Arabia and China had pulled out from any cooperation but this time around China is providing financial aid to the nation.
iii. The move comes after Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to $9.66 billion last week from $16.4 billion in May 2017.
iv. With this loan, China’s lending to Pakistan in this financial year ending in June is set to cross $5 billion.
About FATF:
♦ The Financial Action Task Force, also known by its French name, Groupe d’action financière, is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France.
♦ President: Roger Wilkins.

5th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held in Tokyo, Japan
On 1st July 2018, the 5th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting was held in Tokyo, Japan.
5th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held in Tokyo, Japan5th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting:
i. Ministers from 16 countries: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand took part in the meeting.
ii. Japanese Prime Minister Abe, Singapore Minister and Chairman of ASEAN, Mr. Chan Chun Sing, and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi led the formal opening.
iii. Discussions were held on the developments since the 4th RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting on 3rd March 2018 in Singapore, outcomes of the 22nd round of negotiations held on 28 April – 8 May 2018 in Singapore, intersessional meetings of selected working groups and sub-working groups and the 4th RCEP Intersessional TNC and Related Meetings held on 25-29 June 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.
iv. The Ministers reaffirmed to work together to achieve an agreement that will enable economies of different levels of development to actively participate in and benefit from an open and inclusive regional economic integration.
v. The Ministers agreed to focus on finding breakthroughs for conclusion of the RCEP negotiations, in line with the RCEP Leaders’ mandate in 2017.
vi. The Ministers tasked negotiators to focus efforts on achieving a package of year-end outcomes.
About Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP):
♦ RCEP negotiations commenced in – 2013
♦ Aim of RCEP negotiations – to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners

BANKING & FINANCE

NABARD sanctions Rs.735 Cr for 86 projects in West Bengal under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund(RIDF)
On July 3, 2018, NABARD has announced that it has sanctioned Rs 735.53 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for West Bengal.
Objective:
For facilitating the execution of 86 projects.
Key Points:
i. The entire loan amount was provided to the state at a concessional rate.
ii. These include 6 solar power, 1 medium irrigation, 5 minor irrigation and 12 flood protection projects, 57 projects for the widening and strengthening of roads and 5 rural bridges.
iii. The grid connected solar power projects would generate 88.61 MU of green energy per annum.
iv. The work on the irrigation projects would benefit 11,554 hectares of land besides addressing the problems of water wastage in the upstream areas, seepage loss, deposition of silt and insufficient height of canal, which have been resulting in erratic and short supply of water in the command area.
v. The flood protection measures were aimed at addressing the erosion of river banks and about 155 villages would benefit from it.
vi. The widening and strengthening of 57 roads would facilitate 352.81 km in 14 districts and this would help the farmers to access agro inputs and markets for their agricultural produce along with other facilities.
vii. And the rural bridges would lead to saving of 82 km distance.
Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF):
i. Government of India created the RIDF in NABARD in 1995-96, with an initial corpus of Rs.2,000 crore. With the allocation of Rs.25,000 crore for 2017-18 under RIDF XXIII, the cumulative allocation has reached Rs.2,92,500 crore, including Rs. 18,500 crore under Bharat Nirman.
ii. At present, there are 36 eligible activities under RIDF as approved by GoI. (Annexure I). The eligible activities are classified under three broad categories i.e.

  • Agriculture and related sector
  • Social sector
  • Rural connectivity

IIFL is India’s No. 1 banker for equity issuance for private sector companies in FY18: Prime Database Investment Bankers League table for FY 2017-18.
On July 3, 2018, IIFL is India’s top investment bank for equity issuance by private sector companies as per report of Prime Database Investment Bankers League table for FY 2017-18.
Key Points:
i. During the financial year 2017-18, IIFL completed twenty seven investment banking transactions including eleven IPOs (Initial Public Offers) and eight follow-on transactions involving top listed companies.
ii.The list of IPOs includes ICICI Lombard General Insurance, HDFC Life, Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management, Future Supply Chain, Shalby Multi-Speciality Hospitals, Indian Energy Exchange, Security & Intelligence Services, Dixon Technologies and Capacite Infraprojects.
iii. IIFL has been among the top investment bankers in India over the past few years in terms of capital raise.
iv. It has helped in raising about Rs. 48,000 crores of capital in the year 2017-18.
v. It has 250 stocks in the listed space and more than 400 institutional investors both in India and globally.
About IIFL:
♦ IIFL Holdings Ltd. (IIFL) is a category I Merchant Banker and a part of leading diversified financial services group. IIFL is a publicly listed company and is engaged in Investment Banking, Securities dealing, Wealth & Asset Management and Loans & Mortgages.
♦ IIFL was the banker for the largest QIPs like SBI, HDFC, Federal Bank, Deepak Nitrite and Vardhaman Special Steels Ltd. It also managed the rights issue for Karur Vysya Bank and the first InvIT in India for IRB.

PNB and Allahabad Bank hikes lending rates by up to 10 basis points
On June 30, 2018, State-owned Punjab National Bank and Allahabad Bank have raised the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate, the floor rate at which it lends to consumers, for select tenors by 0.05-0.10 per cent.
i. This will be effective from July 1,2018.
ii. The changes are as follows:

TermChange by (basis Points)Changed rate of MCLR
Overnight107.90
One month108.05
Three Month108.20
Six month108.40
One year58.45
Three years58.60
Five years58.75
iii. Other than PNB , Allahabad Bank has also raised its MCLR effective from July 1 ,2018.
They are as follows:
TermChange by (basis Points)Changed rate of MCLR
Overnight107.95
One month108.05
Three Month108.25
Six month108.30
One year108.45
Two years108.65
Three years108.75
PNB:
♦ Tagline: The Name you can bank upon
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
Allahabad Bank:
♦ Tagline : A tradition of Trust.
♦ Headquarters: Kolkata.
♦ First Payments Bank in India: Airtel payments Bank.
♦ First Small Finance Bank in India: Capital Local Area Bank.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Mahendra Singh Dhoni to start new innings with SoundLogic
SoundLogic has named cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a partner-evangelist.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – partner-evangelist in SoundLogic:
i. Recently, SoundLogic appointed PointNine Lintas as its full-service agency. PointNine Lintas is working with the team at SoundLogic and Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the marketing roadmap for SoundLogic.
ii. Sagar Gwallani is the CEO of SoundLogic. Vikas Mehta is the CEO of PointNine Lintas.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Rahul Dravid inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
On 1st July 2018, former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid and Australian Ricky Ponting have been inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame for their achievements in international cricket, at an event in Dublin, Ireland.

Rahul Dravid inducted into ICC Hall of FameRahul Dravid inducted into ICC Hall of Fame:
i. Retired England woman wicket keeper-batter Claire Taylor has also been inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’.
ii. Rahul Dravid has become the 5th player from India to be inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’.
iii. Ricky Ponting is the 25th player from Australia to be inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’.
iv. Former Indian skippers Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev were inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009. Anil Kumble was inducted in 2015.
About International Cricket Council (ICC):
♦ CEO – David Richardson
♦ Chairman – Shashank Manohar
♦ Headquarters – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Manappuram Finance to acquire 85% stake in ISFC for Rs 212 crore
Manappuram Finance has agreed to buy 85.39 % stake in Indian School Finance (ISFC) for more Rs 212 crore.
Manappuram Finance to acquire 85% stake in ISFC for Rs 212 crore:
i. ISFC lends to educational institutions like private schools, vocational colleges and institutes, coaching centres etc. to build infrastructure.
ii. Manappuram Finance has also signed a transfer restrictions agreement with Indian School Finance Company and some continuing shareholders of ISFC.
iii. Manappuram Finance said that the total cost of acquisition is Rs 212.20 crore. This acquisition is subject to approval of the Reserve Bank of India and other customary conditions precedent.
About Indian School Finance (ISFC):
♦ Type – Non-Banking Finance Company
♦ Established – 2008

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Centauri I of Fleet Space Technologies ,Australia to fly on ISRO’s PSLV
On July 3, 2018, Fleet Space Technologies, an IoT (Internet of Things) startup, disclosed last week that its first 10-kg nano-satellite Centauri I would fly to space on a PSLV later this year.
Key Points:
i. Co-founder and CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said that it is developing a series of 10-kg nano-satellites about the size of a shoe box
ii. PSLV was chosen because of : Lighter Payload, Low Cost connectivity.
iii. The PSLV’s three versions can lift satellites of 1,000-1,750 kg to distances of around 600 km in pole-to-pole orbits.
iv. This would enable low-cost connectivity for agriculture, logistics, mining and other industries.
v. It will establish a global network that will connect 75 billion sensors and devices, for free
vi. The second nanosat, Centauri II, is to be launched on the U.S. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket later this year.
ISRO:
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan.
Fleet Space Technologies :
♦ Headquarters: Adelaide, Australia.

Tejas: Indigenous fighter aircraft commences operations from Kerala’s Sulur Air Force Station
On 2nd July 2018, Indigenous fighter aircraft Tejas of No 45 Squadron ‘The Flying Daggers’ formally started operations from the Air Force Station at Sulur near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, under Group Captain S Dhankhar.
Tejas: Indigenous fighter aircraft commences operations from Kerala’s Sulur Air Force Station:
i. The Southern Air Command base at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala has been given the responsibility to integrate Tejas in Air Force’s Concept of Operations.
ii. Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Southern Air Command) RKS Bhadauria formally participated in the inaugural ceremony.
iii. Tejas is the first advanced Fly-by-wire fighter aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in India by HAL. It features a satellite-aided Inertial Navigation System.
iv. The aircraft has a digital computer-based attack system and autopilot mode. It can fire Air to Air Missiles, carry bombs and Precision Guided ammunition.
v. The ‘No 45 Squadron’ was involved in training aircrew. It will now take care of operations and maintenance of Tejas under Group Captain S Dhankhar.
vi. With the deployment of Tejas, the ‘Flying Daggers’ will occupy wartime role of safeguarding national skies.
About HAL (Hindustan Aeronautical Limited):
♦ Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) – T. Suvarna Raju
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru

‘Epidiolex’ – world’s first medicine made from marijuana
On 25th June 2018, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first time approved the use of Epidiolex, an oral solution made from marijuana, for the treatment of seizures related to 2 rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
‘Epidiolex’ – world’s first medicine made from marijuanaEpidiolex:
i. Epidiolex is a plant-derived oral solution of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main ingredient of marijuana that does not cause intoxication or a euphoric high.
ii. The drug will be used to cure 2 severe forms of epilepsy namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
iii. It was the first time the FDA approved a drug to treat Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a rare genetic condition that occurs during the first year of life characterized by frequent fever-related seizures.
iv. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome starts in childhood, usually between 3 to 5 years of age. It is characterised by multiple types of seizures.
v. People affected with these disorders have tonic seizures that cause the muscles to contract uncontrollably.
vi. Epidolex was created by GW Pharmaceuticals. It is the first prescription, plant-derived cannabinoid medicine in the US. It is also the first in a new class of anti-epileptic medications.
vii. The drug is a pharmaceutical formulation of pure cannabidiol (CBD). FDA-has approved it for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome for patients 2 years of age or older.
About US Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
♦ Commissioner – Scott Gottlieb
♦ Headquarters – Maryland, United States

Natco Pharma launches Hepatitis C drug in India named Hepcinat Plus
On July 3, 2018, Natco Pharma announced that they have launched fixed dose combination of Sofosbuvir-Daclatasvir tablets for the treatment of Hepatitis C under the brand name Hepcinat Plus, in India.
i. The product is a generic fixed dose combination of Sofosbuvir 400 mg and Daclatasvir 60mg tablets.
ii. It is used for the treatment of patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
iii. The company has launched the drug at a maximum retail price of Rs 17,500 for a bottle of 28 tablets.
About Natco Pharma:
♦ Headquarters: Hyderabad.
♦ Founded :1981.

Scientists identify gene that strengthens human immunity system
Scientists of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia have identified the gene that strengthens the human immunity system.
Gene that strengthens human immunity system:
i. This gene plays a major role in regulating the body’s immune response to infection including cancer and diabetes.
ii. The gene has not yet been named. It is currently referred to as C6 or f106. It has existed for over 500 million years.
iii. It has been preserved and passed down from simple organisms to humans. This identification could lead to the development of new treatments for various diseases including cancer, diabetes and inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Khajjiar Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Macchial Lake – Himachal Pradesh
♦ Manimahesh Lake – Himachal Pradesh

SPORTS

Australia wins Champions Trophy 2018 (hockey)
On 1st July 2018, Australia won the Champions Trophy hockey 2018 in Breda, the Netherlands.
Australia wins Champions Trophy 2018 (hockey)Australia wins Champions Trophy 2018:
i. In the finals, India lost 1-3 to Australia in shootout in the finals of Champions Trophy hockey.
ii. Australia won their 15th gold medal at Champions Trophy. India won their second silver medal. In the 2016 edition also, India had lost to Australia and settled for silver medal.
About Hockey India:
♦ President – Rajinder Singh
♦ Formed – 2009

OBITUARY

Ex Navy chief Admiral JG Nadkarni Passed away
On 2nd July 2018, former chief of naval staff Admiral JG Nadkarni died at naval hospital in Mumbai.
Ex Navy chief Admiral JG Nadkarni Passed awayDeath of JG Nadkarni:
i. JG Nadkarni was 86 years old. He was the Navy chief from December 1987 to November 1990.
ii. He was the 14th Chief of Naval Staff. He was the founding member of the Maritime History Society.

Marwar Rajmata Krishna Kumari passes away
On 3rd July 2018, Rajmata of the erstwhile Marwar principality and former MP, Krishna Kumari, passed away following a heart attack in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Death of Krishna Kumari:
i. Krishna Kumari was 92 years old. She was born in 1926. She was the princess of Dharangdhra in Gujrat.
ii. She married the then ruler of Marwar, Hanwant Singh, in 1943. After the death of Hanwant Singh in 1952, she took the responsibility of campaigning for the elections, managing the family and other responsibilities.
Some National Parks in Rajasthan:
♦ Ranthambore National Park
♦ Desert National Park
♦ Darrah National Park

Tony Award Winner Liliane Montevecchi dies at 85
On 29th June 2018, French-Italian actress Liliane Montevecchi, died after fighting colon cancer, at her residence in Manhattan, United States.
Tony Award Winner Liliane Montevecchi dies at 85Death of Liliane Montevecchi:
i. Liliane Montevecchi was 85 years old. She was born in Paris in 1932. She started dancing at the age of 8.
ii. She entered Hollywood in the 1950s. In 2013, she was honored by the French Minister of Culture as an “Officer of Arts and Culture” to France and the world.
Some UNESCO cultural Heritage Sites in India:
♦ Churches and Convents of Goa – Goa
♦ Elephanta Caves – Maharashtra
♦ Ellora Cave – Maharashtra