Current Affairs Update - 2nd and 3rd July 2017
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International Sports Journalists' Day July 2: the fight against corruption
- World Sports Journalists Day is a global professional observance held on July 2. It was established by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in 1994 to mark the 70th anniversary of its foundation.
- The term “sports journalism” refers to a form of writing that reports on sporting topics, it is an essential element of any news media organization.
- There are a lot of national and local associations of sports journalists aimed at maintaining high standards of sports journalism. Sports journalists from all over the world are united by the International Sports Press Association (Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive, AIPS).
India's new Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti to take charge on July 6
- Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti has been appointed the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India by the Narendra Modi government. He will take charge as the CEC on July 6 after Nasim Zaidi retires. Zaidi had taken over as the 20th CEC on April 19, 2015.
- Jyoti, former Chief Secretary of Gujarat, was appointed as the Election Commissioner on May 7, 2015, filling one of the two vacancies in the three-member body.
- Jyoti (64) retired from active service in January 2013 after serving in various capacities in Gujarat including as Chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004 and Managing Director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL).
- He is a retired 1975-batch IAS Officer belonging to the Gujarat Cadre.
- Jyoti will have a tenure of one year, when he will turn 65 as an EC or a CEC has a tenure of six years in office or till he or she attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Mumbai's 'Vikrikar Bhavan' Renamed As GST Bhavan
- Mumbai's 'Vikrikar Bhavan' was today renamed as 'GST Bhavan' after the Goods and Services Tax regime was rolled out last night. 'Vikrikar Bhavan' is the headquarters of Maharashtra government's erstwhile Sales Tax department.
- Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar attended the ceremony at the Bhavan, located in south Mumbai's Mazgaon area.
- Senior IAS officer Rajiv Jalota, State GST Commissioner, informed the gathering that the department has planned a helpline to assist traders and business community who have queries about the new tax regime's implementation and modalities.
- GST also means 'Garibon ki Seva karnewala Tax' (tax which helps the poor), Mr Mungantiwar said. "There are some doubts in minds of traders (over GST)," the BJP minister said.
Money in Swiss banks: India slips to 88th place, UK on top
- India has slipped to 88th place in terms of money parked by its citizens with Swiss banks
- Indian deposits is at 676 million Swiss francs (about Rs 4,500 crore) - a record low
- India was ranked in top 50 continuously between 1996 and 2007
‘Wonder Woman’ becomes DC’s highest-grossing movie
- Gal Gadot starrer “Wonder Woman”, which has broken ground on the superhero market for females, has become DC’s most successful film ever.
- With a box office collection of USD 334.9 million, the Patty Jenkins-directed movie earned the title of the highest-grossing film within the DC Extended Universe, reported Entertainment Weekly.
- The DCEU includes films such as “Man of Steel”, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad”.
- “Wonder Woman” now has the most box-office dough of them all as far as domestic audiences go.
BHEL signs pact with Japanese firm for manufacturing coaches for metro trains
- Bharat Heavy Electricals LtdBSE 0.18 % (BHELBSE 0.18 %) has entered into a technology collaboration agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (KHI) of Japan for manufacturing of stainless steel coaches and bogies for metros.
- The agreement covers establishing design, engineering and manufacturing facilities at BHEL using Japanese technology. It will also entitle BHEL for all technology advances and upgrades.
- BHEL supplies electric as well as diesel locomotives, EMUs, and propulsion systems for Indian Railways.
Railways sign MoU with NBCC to redevelop 10 stations
- Rail Land Development Authority has joined hands with National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) for smart redevelopment based on feasibility assessment of 10 railway stations across the country on global standards.
- The identified stations to be taken up initially by NBCC for redevelopment are Tirupati, Sarai Rohilla (Delhi), Nellore, Puducherry, Madgaon, Lucknow, Gomtinagar, Kota, Thane (New) and Ernakulam.
- A MoU was signed between RLDA, an arm of the Railways for commercial exploitation of rail land, and NBCC, a PSU of urban development ministry for implementation of station redevelopment projects for the 10 identified stations.
- Speaking on the occasion, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu stated that the Railways has taken up this programme of station redevelopment in a big way, adopting a multi-pronged strategy to accomplish the mammoth task.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates computerisation of PACS and Rupay KCC
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated computerisation of PACS and launched RuPay Kisan Credit cards in the state.
- Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik said Odisha is the first state to implement an integrated Core Banking Solution Project covering all three tiers of short term cooperative credit structure - state cooperative bank, district central cooperative banks and 2,708 primary agriculture cooperative societies.
- With computerisation of PACS, farmers are now able to draw their sanctioned loans from the ATM network of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) having 2.14 lakh ATMs of all banks across the country.
- Patnaik distributed micro ATMs for dispensation of loans at the doorsteps of the farmers and said the Government is keen to address all requirements of the farmers by converting the PACS as One Stop Shops.
Telangana to Have Separate Agriculture Budget From Next Year
- Telangana would have a separate budget for agriculture from the next year.
- Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who held a meeting with ministers and officials on agriculture here today, decided to substantially enhance funds for the agriculture sector and present a separate agriculture budget, a release from his office said this evening.
- Rao also asked the officials to form farmers' associations at various levels -- from villages to the state -- to organise the cultivators, it said.
- Farmers would be provided training of modern and scientific methods of farming so as to increase the farm output, the release added.
Karnataka Bank unveils 'KBL Image Debit Card'
- City based private sector bank - Karnataka Bank, in its pursuit to transform customer satisfaction into customer delight, has unveiled yet another novel card variant 'KBL-image debit card. It is intended to enable bank's debit cardholders to customize/personalize debit card with image of their choice.
- This card is one of the new-fangled card products that will fulfil debit cardholders' desire to capture their best moments/family/friends impression on the face of debit card.
PNB to block all Maestro debit cards from July 31
- Punjab National BankBSE 1.39 % (PNBBSE 1.39 %) Maestro debit cards holders will face a card blockage if they fail to replace it with a more secure EMV chip based card by the end of this month.
- The bank will not charge anything for the replacement and it will be provided free of cost.
- "If you are having Maestro debit card, get it replaced free of cost with a new EMV chip based debit card from any PNB branch. All Maestro cards issued by PNB will be blocked or hotlis ..
IGNOU announces course fee waiver for transgender students
- The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) on Sunday announced exemption of fees for its transgender students of all programmes.
- Vice Chancellor Ravindra Kumar announced the initiative during the 22nd Prof G Ram Reddy Lecture, a release issued by the varsity said.
- The university holds the lecture on July 2 every year in the memory of the founding Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. G Ram Reddy. It invites eminent educationists and scholars to deliver lecture on higher education, especially in the open and distance learning domain.
Textile India 2017 Emphasises On 'Skill, Scale And Speed'
- With an aim to promote textile industry in India, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Textiles India 2017 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat on Friday (30 June).
- Calling it India’s first ever mega textiles trade fair, the PM said, “The textile industry is being infused with the mantras of 'skill,scale,speed' & 'zero-defect, zero-effect'.”
RBI report sees India’s economic growth rate at 7.3% in 2017-18
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like goods and services (GST) and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3% in terms of gross value added (GVA) in the current fiscal year.
- The Financial Stability Report 2017, released on Friday, bases its optimism to the lower fiscal deficit at 3.2% for this year down from 3.5% in 2016-17, increasing public capex and support to poorer households, small businesses and the rural sector, to oil the economy.
- “Going forward, reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand are likely to contribute to a better growth outlook. GVA growth is expected to be higher at 7.3% in 2017-18,” the FSR said.
- On inflation, it paints a rosy picture and projects CPI inflation to be in the range of 2-3.5% in the first half of the year and 3.5-4.5% in the second half.
India launches $250 mn national biopharmaceutical mission
- India launched the National Biopharmaceutical Mission on Friday, a $250 million dollar initiative, that includes a $125 million loan from the World Bank. “This is going to be a game changer for the biopharmaceutical industry,” science and technology minister, Harsh Vardhan, said at the launch. Ultimately the goal is to “change the face of the health sector.”
- The country currently serves only 2.8% of the global biopharmaceutical market. The goal is to expand India’s market share to 5% by 2022. The thrust areas for the mission are vaccine development, biotherapeutics, diagnostics and development of medical devices.
TN to set up Rs 2350 cr solar photovoltaic power park
- Tamil Nadu government today proposed a series of new initiatives in various sectors, including energy and power, running into many thousands of crores of rupees.
- Chief Minister K Palaniswami made suo motu announcements using Tamil nadu Assembly rule No 110, often used by former chief minister Jayalalithaa to spell out her government's various initiatives and measures.
- Among the announcements made in the energy sector, the chief minister said the government will set up an Ultra Mega Solar Photovoltaic Power Park in Ramanathapuram district at an estimated cost of Rs 2350 crore.
- State-run TANGEDCO will establish the 500 MW power park on Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) basis at Naripaiyur and adjoining villages in the district, he said.
- Palaniswami also announced setting up of nearly 130 new sub-stations and related power infrastructure in different parts of the state, besides upgradation of existing ones.
- He recalled that various steps in this sector had ensured the state had overcome the severe power crisis and it has now become power surplus.
- In the Industries sector, the chief minister proposed a Multi-Modal Logistics Park in neighbouring Tiruvallur district.
Germany Defeat Chile to Win 2017 Confederations Cup Final
- Germany battled their way to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup title on Sunday, beating Chile 1-0 in a tight final in Russia.
- Lars Stindl gave the Germans a first-half lead against the run of play, taking advantage of some dreadful defending.
- Chile went close on several occasions after the break, but their top stars faltered in front of goal.
EESL, Saudi company sign pact for energy efficiency programmes
- State-run EESL today said it has signed an MoU with National Energy Services Company of Saudi Arabia to implement energy efficiency programmes and scale-up demand side measures.
- The MoU was signed by Waled Alghreri, Chief Executive Officer, National Energy Services Company and Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL, a company statement said.
- As per the pact, EESL will provide consultancy and expand the capacity of National Energy Services Company, which is instituted by Saudi Arabia, to execute energy efficiency programmes.
- The agreement comes in the wake of the Arab Kingdom working ardently towards reducing its power subsidies and introducing energy efficiency initiatives.
- With rapidly increasing population coupled with soaring energy prices, the electricity demand of Saudi Arabia is growing at a rapid pace.
Writer Preeti Shenoy bags Indian of the Year award
- Writer Preeti Shenoy was honoured with the Indian of the Year award at a function here.
- Shenoy, who is one of India's top five highest selling women authors, was awarded on Friday by Brands Academy, one of the most reputed branding companies in India to recognise the achievements of personalities who have contributed towards building up the reputation of the country.
- The award ceremony also focused on celebrating the achievements of leaders from all walks of life. All awardees have in their own way contributed towards the growth and development of the nation, the organisers said.
Carrie Lam sworn in as Hong Kong's new leader
- Carrie Lam has been sworn in as Hong Kong's chief executive by Chinese President Xi Jinping as the city marks the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule.
- Lam took her oath in Mandarin Chinese and not in the local Cantonese on Saturday amid scattered protests.
- Security was tight at the same harbour-front venue where two decades earlier, the last colonial governor, Chris Patten, tearfully handed back Hong Kong to Chinese rule at a rain-soaked ceremony.
- "I'm facing the biggest call of my career," Lam said after being sworn in.
Simone Veil, Auschwitz survivor and abortion pioneer, dies aged 89
- Simone Veil, an Auschwitz survivor who played a leading role in legalising contraception and abortion in France, has died aged 89.
- Veil, an icon of French politics and the first president of the European parliament, died at home, her son Jean said.
- In 1973, she pushed through laws to liberalise contraception, with the pill not only authorised but reimbursed by the social security system.
- A year later she led the charge in the national assembly for the legalisation of abortion, where she braved a volley of insults, some of them likening terminations to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews.