Daily Current Affairs Updates– 19th July


— Current Affairs : 19th July 2016 —

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Indian Medical Council (Amendment) & Dentists (Amendment) Bills introduced in Lok Sabha:

  • Health Minister J P Nadda introduced Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill and Dentists (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha.
  • The bills seek to replace National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) ordinances.

Centre sets target of creating food grain storehouse by 2019:

  • The Centre has set a target of creating food grain storage facilities storehouse with a combined capacity of hundred lakh tonnes by 2019.
  • Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, C R Chaudhary said that there is no dearth of storage capacity for the foodgrains produced in the country.
  • Government is increasing the storage facilities to avoid any damage to food grains. Mr Chaudhary said, his Ministry is also focussing on renovating the old storage facilities in the country.

Centre to build memorial for A P J Abdul Kalam in Tamil Nadu: Parrikar

  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha today that the Centre will build a memorial for the former President and Defence Scientist Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam in Tamil Nadu.
  • Tamil Nadu Government has allotted 1.8 acres of land for the memorial whereas the Centre wanted five acres.
  • He said the foundation of the memorial will be laid on 27th of this month. Dr Kalam breathed his last on 27th of July last year.

Parliament passes Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016:

  • Parliament has passed the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016 with the Rajya Sabha approving it.
  • The bill seeks to establish a Regional Centre for Biotechnology, an institution of education, training and research, under the auspices of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the National Capital Region.
  • The Regional Centre is to disseminate knowledge by providing teaching and research facilities in biotechnology and related fields. Besides, it will help create a hub of biotechnology expertise and promote co-operation at the international level.

India, US agree to deepen cooperation in maritime sector:

  • India and the United States have agreed to deepen the scope of cooperation in the maritime sector.
  • The Ministry of shipping said in a press release that 150 projects under this programme have the potential of mobilizing 50-60 Billion US Dollars of infrastructure investment and another 100 Billion US Dollars of investment for promoting industrial growth.
  • The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkariduring his recent visit to the USA; held wide-ranging discussions with the representatives of Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach.

CBDT signs seven Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements with Indian taxpayers:

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed seven Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers.
  • Some of the agreements also have a Rollback provision as well.
  • The 7 APAs pertain to various sectors of economy like banking, Information Technology and Automotives.
  • The international transactions covered in these agreements include software development Services, IT enabled Services, Engineering Design Services & Business Support Services.

India’s first e-court opened in Hyderabad:

  • India’s first e-court was opened at High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad.
  • It is the common high court for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Inaugurating the e-court, Supreme Court Judge Justice Madan B Lokur said Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were first two states in the country to be chosen for Integrated Criminal Justice System project.

Blue Revolution: Odisha aims to create 400 hectares new water area

  • The state government has planned to create 400 hectares of new water area in private land this year.
  • The government has also made a provision to provide 50% subsidy assistance to fish farmers for increasing of the inland fish production to meet the demand of the state and generate income of farmers.
  • This project proposal submitted by Fisheries and Animal Resources Development (FARD) Department was approved on July 15 in a state-level sanctioning committee ofRashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) chaired by chief secretary AP Padhi.
    • Odisha Governor –  S C Jamir
    • Odisha CM          –  Naveen Patnaik
    • Odisha Capital     –  Bhubaneswar

Netherlands-UP signs agreement for setting up skill development centre for farmers:

  • The Netherlands and Uttar Pradesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a skill development centre to help farmers.
  • The MoU would ensure that farmers get information on food processing as well as along with use of modern techniques to boost production of sugarcane, potato, dairy development and flowers.
  • Besides, the Dutch government would also help in cleaning the Yamuna in Agra and in sewage treatment. Under this agreement, it would assist the state in solid waste management, urban development and infrastructure.
  • It will also assist the state in water management, water supply, and cleanliness of water resources, sewage treatment, transport management and revival of water bodies.

Government sets incubation cell for export start-ups:

  • The Centre set up an incubation cell at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade to offer “support” to export start-ups.
  • The initiative named KITTES (Knowledge for Innovation in Trade and Technology for Entrepreneurial Start-ups), will allow start-ups to expand their business to foreign markets.
  • Further, it will offer expert advice and technical guidance to entrepreneurs at one place.



North Korea fires three ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan:

  • North Korea has fired three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. US and South Korean military officials said the missiles were launched from the western city of Hwangju.
  • The US said the first two were short-range Scud missiles while the third was presumed to be a mid-range Rodong.
  • It comes after the US and South Korea said they would deploy an anti-missile system to counter the North’s threats.

India, Malaysia to cooperate on combating ISIS:

  • India and Malaysia have agreed to “proactively” engage in combating the “menace” of ISIS activities, a statement read.
  • At a delegation level meeting between the two countries, Home Minister Rajnath Singh stressed on strong intelligence sharing to stop the propagation of ISIS ideology.
  • The two sides also discussed issues like Extradition Treaty and the circulation of fake Indian currency notes.

Morocco seeks to rejoin the African Union:

  • Moroccan King Mohammed VI has formally announced that his country wanted to rejoin the African Union, 32 years after it quit the bloc.
  • Morocco had left the AU protesting its recognition of the independence of Western Sahara, an area which Moroccans describe as their country’s “southern provinces”.
  • Notably, Morocco is the only African country which is not an AU member.



World Bank Group appoints Paul Romer as Chief Economist:

  • World Bank Group appointed Paul Romer as World Bank Chief Economist with effect from September 2016.
  • Romer is a widely respected economist and a successful entrepreneur.
  • Romer will join the Bank at a critical time when the field of development is transforming under the forces of rapid technological change, globalization, and demography.
  • As Chief Economist, Romer will support the President and the senior management in leading the institution and inspiring the development profession during this time of transformative change.

Malcolm Turnbull sworn in as Australia’s PM:

  • Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in for another term as Australia’s prime ministerafter a narrow election victory with budget repair and a public vote on same sex marriage among his top priorities.

Guruprasad Mohapatra appointed as Chairman of Airports Authority of India:

  • Odisha-born bureaucrat Guruprasad Mohapatra was appointed as the Chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI) with effect from 19 July 2016.
  • Guruprasad Mohapatra is a 1986 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre.



Government sets Rs.22,915 cr fund infusion for PSU banks:

  • In line with the announcements under the Indradhanush initiative and the Budget, the Centre has allocated Rs.22,915 crore for the capitalisation of 13 public sector banks for the year 2016-17.
  • This will provide liquidity support and allow banks to raise capital from markets. The amount released is 75% of that collected for each bank and the remaining will be performance-linked.



India gets its first ‘Mixed’ site on UNESCO list:

  • Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Park has been designated as India’s first “Mixed” site on the UNESCO World Heritage List, by fulfilling the criteria under both natural and cultural heritage.
  • Earlier, Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex and Nalanda University were also added to the list.
  • With this, India now has 35 sites on the World Heritage List, including seven natural and 27 cultural sites.



Softbank to acquire ARM Holdings for $32 billion:

  • Japan’s Softbank agreed to acquire ARM Holdings, the U.K. based semiconductor firm, in a deal worth more than 32 billion US dollar.
  • As part of its bid to bolster its presence in the growing internet of things (IoT) sector, Softbank will pay about 22.50 US dollar per share for ARM.
  • The deal is the first major cross-border transaction in Britain since it voted to exit the European Union in June 2016.

MoS for Textile Ajay Tamta inaugurates India International Garment Fair 2016:

  • MoS for Textile Ajay Tamta inaugurated the India International Garment Fair 2016.
  • India International Garment Fair (IIGF) is one of the largest and most popular events in the international apparel fairs arena.

JSW Energy to buy Jaiprakash Power’s Bina unit for Rs 2,700 crore:

  • Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Energy acquired the 500-megawatt (Mw) power plant of debt-laden Jaiprakash Power Ventures at Bina in Madhya Pradesh for Rs 2,700 crore, 10 months after the two firms got into a binding agreement.

Dabur signs MoU with DRDO to promote cultivation of rare medicinal plants:

  • Dabur India inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) Defense Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR).
  • The agreement was signed to promote sustainable cultivation of rare medicinal plants Ladakh, which is one of the most difficult terrains in the world.



NASA announces discovery of 104 new planets outside solar system:

  • NASA has announced the discovery of 104 new planets outside our solar system including four that could have Earth-like, rocky surfaces.
  • Scientists discovered the exoplanets in Hawaii using Kepler space telescope.
  • The unmanned Kepler mission has been scanning 150,000 stars in the Cygnus constellation for signs of orbiting bodies, particularly those that might be able to support life.
  • Evan Sinukoff, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii who contributed to the research, said the diversity of planets is astounding.

Facebook launches new app-install ad tool:

  • Facebook launched a new tool called App Event Optimization, which will enable advertisers to target those users who will not only install their applications but will use them as well.
  • The tool works by letting developers choose their targeted in-app events, which lets them reach those who are more likely to use the services offered in the apps.



Abdul Wahid Tanveer wins 2W MRF Rally of Coimbatore:

  • Abdul Wahid Tanveer of Team TVS clinched the 2016 MRF MoGrip FMSCI National Rally Championship for two-wheelers, as he extended his run to the fourth round at the MRF Rally of Coimbatore in the six-round competition.
  • Bengaluru-based Wahid, riding a TVS RTR 450, clocked 1 hour 02 min, 13 seconds to complete the challenging Special Stages set around the wind farms near the Kethanur (Palladam) area.
  • The total distance of the route was approximately 145 km and total distance of the special stages was about 70 km.
  • R Nataraj of Team TVS, astride a TVS RTR 450, came overall second with a time of 1 hour 04 minutes and 21 seconds. S D Viswas, a privateer, grabbed third position overall on a Yamaha 250F motorcycle, clocking 1 hour 12 minutes and 01 seconds.

China to send 416 athletes to Rio 2016 Olympics:

  • China will send 416 athletes to Rio de Janeiro, its largest overseas delegation in Olympic history, continuing its pursuit of medals that saw it take second spot in the table behind the United States four years ago.
  • The country will send 256 women and 160 men to compete in 26 sports.

WADA calls for ban on all Russian athletes at Rio Olympics:

  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has called on international sports society to ban Russian athletes from taking part in all international athletic competitions, including the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil in August.



Legendary singer Mubarak Begum passes away in Mumbai:

  • Legendary singer Mubarak Begum passed away at her residence in Mumbai last night after a prolonged illness. She was 80.
  • Her career as a playback singer began in 1949 with the Indian, Hindi-language film Aaiye. She is remembered for singing scores of songs, duets and ghazals for Bollywood, mainly during the 1950s-1970s.
  • Mubarak Begum is known for the evergreen song “Kabhi tanhaiyon mein hamari yaad ayegi” from the 1961 movie “Hamari Yaad Aayegi”. Her last rites will take place today.


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