Current Affairs Update - 20th July 2017
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TR Zeliang appointed new chief minister of Nagaland by Governor PB Acharya
- T R Zeliang was today appointed the new chief minister of Nagaland by the Governor and asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before July 22. Zeliang was appointed shortly after embattled Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu and his supporters failed to turn up in the Assembly to face the floor test following which the House was adjourned sine die. A Raj Bhavan communique issued here said Governor P B Acharya appointed Zeliang as the chief minister and asked him to prove his majority on the floor of the house on or before July 22.
- Zeliang will be sworn in as the new chief minister at 3 pm today, sources at Raj Bhavan said. The governor had yesterday directed Speaker Imtiwapang to summon an emergent special session of the assembly at 9.30 am for Liezietsu, who is facing rebellion from MLAs of his party Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF), to seek confidence vote. Zeliang, leader of the rebel NPF MLAs, was present in the House along with his followers.
- The motion to prove the majority of Liezietsu could not be taken up as he was not present and the House was adjourned sine die, the speaker said.
Bharat Arun appointed India bowling coach
- The three-member committee formed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has decided to retain the services of Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar while appointing Bharat Arun as the bowling coach of the Indian senior men's team. In addition to serving as batting coach, Bangar will also serve as Ravi Shastri's deputy.
- The committee met India's new head coach Shastri in Mumbai today (July 18) and made the announcements. The appointments were made by CoA chairman Vinod Rai who acted on the recommendations of BCCI's acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and CoA member Diana Edulji.
Rs 20 notes in Mahatma Gandhi 2005 series to be out soon
- The Reserve Bank will shortly issue bank notes of denomination Rs 20 in Mahatma Gandhi series 2005 that will be similar in design to those currently in circulation.
- The new notes will be bearing inset letter 'S' in the number panel and signature of Governor Urjit R Patel, the RBI said in a notification today.
- Both the number panels will have inset letter 'S', the RBI said, adding that the design of these banknotes to be issued now is similar in all aspects to the Rs 20 banknotes in the same series issued earlier.
- "All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 20 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender," the RBI added.
Indians among top asylum-seekers, according to the International Migration Outlook 2017
- Indian diaspora grows steady and strong with India topping the list among countries whose citizens acquire foreign nationality, said a recent global study on migration. Unknown to many, a tiny bit of this migration is driven by asylum-seekers from home who count among the biggest groups seeking refuge from "persecution" in countries as far-flung as New Zealand (NZ) and Latvia.
- According to the International Migration Outlook 2017 report on OECD member-nations, top asylum-seekers to NZ between 2012 and 2016 were from China, India, Fiji and Iraq. The country note for NZ says that in 2015-16, 340 people sought asylum in NZ. Among these, India and China were the largest source countries of asylum-seekers (11% and 9%), followed by Fiji (8%), Iraq (7%) and Pakistan (6%). Refugee status was granted in 110 cases (35%) in all. India was also among the top countries for asylum ..
Naveen Patnaik dedicates Odisha’s longest bridge to nation
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today dedicated to the nation the state’s longest bridge and named it after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
- The 2.88 km bridge over the river Kathajodi will connect the state capital of Bhubaneswar with Cuttack reducing the distance between the two cities by 12 km.
- “It will usher in a new era in the twin city links by reducing distance and commuting time for the citizens. It will stand as a symbol of our constant efforts towards the development of modern infrastructure for growth and progress of the state and our people,” Patnaik said.
Defence & Railway
US and Australia launch HIFiRE 'hypersonic' missile in new arms race
- A JOINT US and Australian operation has seen the launch of a multi-million pound hypersonic missile capable of travelling at almost 13,000 kmh.
- The successful launch from a remote rocket range near Woomera, in South Australia, helped staunch fears that China and Russia were racing ahead in a new hypersonic arms race, and concerns over increasingly hostile missile tests by North Korea.
- The incredible speed would theoretically take a hypersonic glider from London to Australia in a little over one hour.
- Although, the US has said the missiles will only carry conventional warheads, there are already fears other nations could use them to increase nuclear capabilities.
- The hypersonic glider is capable of travelling at Mach8 - eight times faster than the speed of sound, from between 3,836mph (6,200kmh)to almost 8,000mph (13,000kmh).
- The test was part of a project called the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation Program (HIFiRE) involving the US and Australian militaries, Queensland University, Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group and private companies, including Boeing and BAE Systems.
- The date of the test earlier this month has not been released, however, a video of the launch was posted online a few days ago by the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Information Technology of the University of Queensland, which is a partner in HIFiRE.
- Just weeks ago, in May, members of US Congress raised concerns that the US was trailing behind Russia and China in the development of hypersonic weapons capabilities.
Application / Portal
UIDAI Launches mAadhaar, An App That Lets You Carry Aadhaar On Mobile
- The UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India has launched a new mobile app, called mAadhaar, that will negate the need to carry the Aadhaar card in wallets. Users of this mAadhaar app will have all the demographic details of Aadhaar card in their smartphones. Information like name, date of birth, gender and address along with the user's photograph (that is linked with Aadhaar card) will be available in the app. The app is currently available for Android users only. "LAUNCHING #mAadhaar- Carry your Aadhaar on your Mobile. The android app from UIDAI is now available on Google Play," a tweet from Aadhaar's verified account stated.
- Some of the services will only be applicable after subsequent updates as the mAadhaar app is currently in beta stage. Users can download this version on Google Play.
- The app comes with a biometric lock/unlock feature to secure the personal data. Once a user enables the lock system, the app remains locked till he/she chooses to either unlock it (which is temporary) or disable the locking system. It also has a "TOTP generation" (Time-Based One-Time Password) process which can be used instead of SMS-based OTP.
- Users can update their profiles too but only after successful completion of the request. To use the "mAadhaar" app, a registered mobile number is a must. In case your mobile number is not registered, visit the nearest Aadhaar Enrolment Centre or Mobile Update End Point. A QR code facility and password protected eKYC data are among additional features provided in the app.
- From July 1, linking of PAN and Aadhaar had been made mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) and obtaining a new Permanent Account Number (PAN). While Aadhaar is issued by the UIDAI to a resident of India, PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the Income Tax department to a person, firm or entity. The tax department has in the past few months used multiple platforms to ensure linking of Aadhaar with PAN by assessees.
Schemes / Programme
Maharashtra Govt. approves revised policy of 'Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree' scheme aimed to improve girl
- The Maharashtra government today approved a revised policy of the 'Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree' scheme, according to which families who have a yearly income of upto Rs 7.5 lakh will be benefited.
- A decision to this effect was taken during the cabinet meeting held here.
- The scheme, launched by the state government on April 1, 2016 in place of 'Sukanya' scheme, is aimed at improving the skewed girl child ratio, prevent sex determination and female foeticide, and support female education.
- According to the earlier provisions, the 'Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree' scheme catered to girls from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and those whose annual income was upto Rs 1 lakh.
- According to the revised provisions, families having an income upto Rs 7.5 lakh will be eligible for the scheme, an official from the Chief Minister's Office said.
- As per the revised provisions after bearing the first girl child, if the mother or the father undergoes a family planning operation, a sum of Rs 50,000 shall be deposited in a bank in the name of the girl child.
- Also, if any of the parents undergo a family planning operation after bearing the second girl child, a sum of Rs 25,000 shall be deposited in the name of both children.
- The girl will be able to withdraw the interest money twice - once she attains 6 years of age and when she turns 12.
- The girl will be able to withdraw the principle money plus the interest when she turns 18, provided she has completed her education upto Standard 10 and is unmarried.
- The scheme will be valid only if there are a maximum of two girl children born. In case a third child is born, the scheme shall become invalid for the first two as well.
Australia joins International Solar Alliance led by India and France
- The International Solar Alliance was launched by India during the COP 21 in Paris, and received support from over 100 countries with substantial solar potential.
- Australia became the 35th country on Wednesday to join the International Solar Alliance, an initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015 in Paris. It is co-led by India and France.
- The platform brings together countries that are keen to massively ramp up their solar power production.
- “The sun is the source of all energy. The world must turn to solar, the power of our future,” Modi said at the launch during the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) where the Paris climate treaty was also signed.
- The aim was to support developing countries to boost their solar production capacity. When it was announced over 100 countries extended their support.
Sports/Awards & Honours
Advani gets Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in Lok Sabha
- Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani on Wednesday received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha.
- JD-U leader Sharad Yadav also received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a Rajya Sabha representative from Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function organised by the Lokmat Media Group to honour distinguished Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members.
- While giving away the awards, the Vice President said that it is the duty of the elected representatives to prevent erosion of the vitality and the spirit of democracy that is the lifeline of our Parliament.
- "To this end, the personal conduct and credibility of the parliamentary representative provides assurance to the public in the efficacy of the institutions of parliamentary democracy," he said.
Indians win gold and bronze at first global robotics Olympiad
- Robotics Olympiad: A group of seven Indian students has bagged two awards at the first global robotics Olympiad in the US where 157 countries participated.
- Feather in the hat: The students, who hail from Mumbai, won gold for Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award and bronze for Global Challenge Match at the international robotics challenge organised by FIRST Global in Washington, according to a statement.
- Meet 'Neutrino': They called their bot 'neutrino'. It basically collect orange and blue balls from the ground and sort them accordingly and also climbs up to 2.5 feet.
UAE Minister of State for Tolerance Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi 'most powerful Arab woman in government'
- The Minister of State for Tolerance has topped a poll of the most powerful Arab women in government this year, according to Forbes Middle East.
- Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was followed by two women from Egypt - Sahar Nasr, the country’s minister of investment and international cooperation, and Ghada Wali, the minister of social solidarity.
- Forbes has also released a list of the top 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen for 2017, and the UAE represents the highest number of women, with 18, followed by Egypt, with 16.
- Forbes said women in the Arab world were pioneering in the banking sector, and women in that industry represent 28 per cent of the 2017 businesswoman list.
- Some of these high-level women include Saudi Arabia’s Rania Nashar, chief executive of Samba Financial Group, who became the first woman to head a commercial bank in the country. Latifa Alsabhan was promoted as chief financial officer of Arab National Bank, and Sarah Al Suhaimi, chief executive of NCB Capital, became head of Saudi’s stock market, Tadawul.
- Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, who runs Saudi conglomerate the Olayan Group, tops the businesswoman list.
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