Daily Current Affairs Updates– 20th July


— Current Affairs : 20th July 2016 —

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Bill introduced in Lok Sabha to bring 6 new IITs, ISM:

  • A bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha which aims at bringing six new IITs as well as the Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad under the ambit of the IIT Act.
  • Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government has set up six new IITs as registered societies.
  • The bill also aims at declaring ISM Dhanbad as an institute of national importance, integrate it with the IIT system and it would be called IIT, Dhanbad.
  • The new IITs which the bill intends to incorporate in the system are IIT Tirupati, IIT Palakkad, IIT Goa, IIT Dharwar, IIT Bhilai and IIT Jammu.

India to host BRICS Policy Planning Dialogue on July 26 in Bihar:

  • India will host the BRICS Policy Planning Dialogue on 26th of this month at Patna in Bihar.
  • This will be the first time that External Affairs Ministry will host an official foreign policy related engagement in Patna.

All gram panchayats to be connected through OFC by 2018:

  • All Gram Panchayats in the country will be connected through Optical Fibre Cable(OFC) by 2018.
  • IT Minister Ravi Shankar said the Centre plans to establish a network infrastructure by connecting all 2 lakh 50 thousand Gram Panchayats through OFC under Digital India Programme.

Centre asks States to reduce stamp duty to facilitate housing for all by 2022:

  • Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said, government is making all efforts to boost the Housing Finance Sector to ensure that the goal of affordableHousing for all by 2022 is met.
  • Addressing a national summit on finance for Housing for all in New Delhi, Mr Naidu said, it is the priority of his Ministry to provide access to safe and affordable housing to all countrymen.

Rajya Sabha passes Child Labour Amendment Bill:

  • Rajya Sabha has passed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2012.
  • The bill prohibits employment of children below 14 years in all occupations or processes except where the child helps his family, with the provision for imprisonment up to two years for any violation.
  • Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya hailed the development as a historic step and said, it is aimed at total abolition of child labour

Khandu government passes floor test in Arunachal Pradesh:

  • Pema Khandu-led government passed the floor test in Arunachal Pradesh Assembly with 46 MLAs voting in favour of the Chief Minister.
  • From the Opposition BJP, 11 members voted against it in the 60-member House.
  • Khandu (37) was elected as the new leader of Congress legislature party after Supreme Court restored the Congress government in the state.

6,000-yr-old barley oldest plant to be sequenced:

  • An international team of scientists has successfully sequenced the genes of 6,000-year-old barley seeds, making it the oldest plant genome to be reconstructed.
  • Analysis of the remains retrieved from Yoram Cave in Israel revealed that ancient barley was very similar to present-day barley.
  • To determine the age, the team split the grains and subjected half of them to radiocarbon dating.

TN court orders 30% pay hike for garment workers:

  • A Tamil Nadu court has ordered a pay hike of up to 30% for garment manufacturing firms’ workers in the state.
  • This is reportedly the first increment in the minimum wages of the garment workers in over 12 years.
  • However, garment manufacturers claimed that the new wages would be “practically impossible” to implement owing to the global market conditions.

IIT-Indore bans Twitter over fee hike protests:

  • The IIT-Indore has banned all social media websites including Twitter and Facebook on its campus as its PhD scholars were using the platforms to protest against the recent fee hike.
  • The IIT had reportedly increased the fee for PhD scholars by 150% from ₹8,350 to ₹19,990 which was effective even for the scholars currently pursuing their doctorate.



China bans highway testing of autonomous cars:

  • China has banned highway testing of self-driving cars until the rules governing the testing of autonomous cars go into effect.
  • According to a new report by Bloomberg, the country’s auto industry regulator is already working with police to create these rules.
  • This comes after Germany announced that it is drafting legislation that would place “black boxes” in self-driving vehicles.

France’s National Assembly votes to extend state of emergency:

  • In France, the National Assembly has voted to extend the state of emergency for six months.
  • The move follows last week’s attack in Nice in which 84 people were killed and scores injured when a lorry was driven into crowds.
  • Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, France must expect more deadly attacks despite precautions taken by his government.

China to expand its railway network to 150,000 kms by 2020:

  • China will expand its railway network to 150,000 kms by 2020. The National Development and Reform Commission also said, as part of the country’s 13th five-year plan, China’s high-speed rail network will increase to 30,000 kms by 2020.
  • It said, the high-speed rail network will reach 38,000 kms by 2025.

Republicans nominate Donald Trump for President:

  • The Republican National Convention formally declared that Donald Trump is the party’s nominee for the US Presidential elections.
  • Trump secured the nomination after beating 16 other candidates, and winning the Republican vote in 38 of the 50 states.
  • He is expected to face the presumptive Democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton in the elections scheduled for November this year.

Brazil orders indefinite block on WhatsApp:

  • A Brazilian judge ordered phone carriers to block access to Whatsapp, following the company’s refusal to comply with a previous court order to reveal user information.
  • Temporary blackouts were ordered against Whatsapp twice since December, but were overturned by higher courts.



Steve Elworthy appointed MD of 2019 World Cup

  • Steve Elworthy, an England Cricket Board official and ex-South African player, has been appointed the Managing Director of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, which will be held in England and Wales.
  • He will also oversee the Champions Trophy and the Women’s World Cup in 2017. Elworthy has been Tournament Director of the 2013 Champions Trophy, besides other events.



SBI, Brookfield to set up JV for stressed assets:

  • State Bank of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc to form a joint venture which will independently evaluate and invest in various stressed assets in the country.
  • Brookfield will commit about Rs.7,000 crore to the venture, while SBI will contribute up to 5% of its total investments.



Rohit Khandelwal first Indian to win Mr World:

  • Rohit Khandelwal became the first Indian to win the ‘Mr World’ title at this year’s male beauty pageant held in Southport, England.
  • The 26-year-old actor from Hyderabad won a cash prize of $50,000 while beating 45 other contestants to win the title.
  • Rohit became eligible for the competition by winning the ‘Mr India World’ 2015 title.

Nigerian journalist Didi Akinyelure wins BBC World News Komla Dumor Award:

  • A Nigerian journalist has won the second BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.
  • Didi Akinyelure is a prime-time news anchor in Nigeria and presents business news for CNBC, which broadcasts across the continent.
  • The award was established to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41 in 2014.
  • The first Komla Dumor Award was won by Ugandan news anchor Nancy Kacungira.

Herbie wins World Snail Racing Championship 2016:

  • The 2016 edition of the Annual World Snail Racing Championship was won by a snail named Herbie.
  • Held at in Norfolk, UK, the 13-inch race was finished by the snail in 3 minutes, 25 seconds.
  • Over 2,000 people attended the race which managed to raise around £3,000 for the Saint Andrew’s Church.



IMF cuts India’s growth forecast by 0.1%:

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed India’s growth forecast by 0.1% to 7.4% for both 2016-17 and 2017-18, reflecting “sluggish investment recovery” in the economy. This figure is lower than the 7.6% growth registered in 2015-16.
  • Further, the IMF cut global economic growth by 0.1% for 2016 to 3.1%, owing to uncertainty arising from ‘Brexit’.

Oberoi Hotels voted World’s Best Hotel Brand:

  • The Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has been voted ‘The World’s Best Hotel Brand’ for the second year in a row by the readers of the Travel + Leisure magazine.
  • The Oberoi Group operates over 30 luxury hotels across India, Mauritius, Indonesia, Dubai, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
  • Hotel chains Oetker Collection and Aman Resorts were ranked second and third respectively.

Myntra to acquire Hrithik’s clothing brand HRX:

  • Online fashion retailer Myntra is buying a majority stake in actor Hritik Roshan’s clothing and shoes brand HRX.
  • HRX is also planning to launch offline stores in India, followed by other countries in West Asia.



Hong Kong project turns waste food into fabric:

  • A Hong Kong government-sponsored institute has collaborated with the City University of Hong Kong on a project aimed at turning waste food into fabric.
  • The process involves converting food waste containing sugar into polylactic acid, a type of bioplastic, which is then melted into thread-like filaments.
  • The process can recycle 10 tons of food waste into a ton of fabric.

China top country in iOS games revenue:

  • China has surpassed the US and Japan to become the number one country in iOS games revenue, according to a recent report by market researcher App Annie.
  • The report mentioned that the Games category attributed to about 75% of all iOS revenue.
  • Overall, the US, China and Japan account for 75% of games revenue on iOS, the report added.

World’s smallest motorcycle weighs 1.1 kg:

  • The record for the world’s smallest motorcycle is held by ‘Smalltoe’, which weighs 1.1 kg, as per Guinness World Records.
  • It has a top speed of 2 km/hour, and is powered by a 0.22 kW engine. The creator of the vehicle, Tom Wiberg, rode the machine for more than 10 metre in 2003, as can be seen in the video

Golfer introduces world’s 1st golf cart jetpack:

  • American golfer and the current World number six, Gerry Lester “Bubba” Watson and California-based sports equipment manufacturer Oakley recently introduced what they claim is the world’s first golf cart jetpack.
  • The vehicle, which was introduced to celebrate the return of golf to the Olympics after 112 years, can attain heights of 3,000 feet with air speeds up to 74 kmph.



Indian hockey legend Mohammed Shahid passes away

  • Mohammed Shahid, who was a part of the 1980 Moscow Olympics gold-winning Indian hockey team, passed away at the age of 56 in Gurgaon.
  • He was suffering from liver and kidney ailments for weeks and had slipped into coma on Tuesday night.
  • Shahid, who was considered among India’s best hockey players, had received the Arjuna Award in 1981.



Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall dies at 81:

  • Filmmaker Garry Marshall, director of the Richard Gere and Julia Roberts starrer ‘Pretty Woman’, passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 81.
  • Garry succumbed to complications from pneumonia after he suffered a stroke.
  • Known for directing films including ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘Mother’s Day’, Garry is also credited with creating the American television sitcom ‘Happy Days’.

Oldest litigant in Babri case Hashim Ansari dies:

  • Mohammad Hashim Ansari (95), the oldest litigant in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri masjid dispute, died today due to heart-related ailments.
  • He had been associated with the case since December 1949.
  • In 2010, Allahabad High Court’s verdict equally divided the disputed land among Nirmohi Akhara, the Waqf Board and the side representing Ram Lalla.

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